Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Submissions

In my opinion, the most important thing a writer can do in terms of their career, other than, of course, writing, is to submit their work.

All a writer really needs to do to build a career is to create good work and then put it where people can see it. There are other more subtle things we can work on like social media marketing and other random projects, but those two things are the key. They're the building blocks.

So once we've got a spit-polished piece--a piece we've edited and gotten feedback and edited some more--then its time to submit. At least that's how it works for fiction and poetry. With things like articles and other non-fiction pieces, you submit a polished pitch and they hire you or not based on that.

Basically, with all the genres and types of writing that people need, my goal has been to find and submit one pitch or piece or query per day. I only succeed in that goal about half the time, but I'm getting better.

And with a few good places to look, it isn't even too difficult to find all the possible writing gigs. I'm still working on putting together my own list of resources (so if you have suggestions please leave them in the comments) but here are a few helpful places I've found.

NewPages is one of the best. If you look at the side bar it not only has a list of magazines, it has a list of contests and calls for submissions. This ones worth looking at basically every day.

Poets & Writers is another great one. It has an even more user friendly list of contests than NewPages, in my opinion, and also has a great list of magazines and even small presses.

It's also worthwhile, I think, to keep an eye on the Writers Digest contest page. The entry fees can be a little off-putting, but if you have a piece you're really proud of, this could be a great opportunity.

There are also a couple great freelance writing sites that post the best freelance gigs and writing contests. They are FreelanceWriting.com and FreelanceWritingGigs.com. Check them out. It might even be worth checking out the writing gigs page of your local Craigslist.

And for you non-fiction writers, I can't not mention the wonderful Chicken Soup series, which is always accepting applications for various subjects.

I also have to recommend the Writers Market books. Yes the internet is an incredibly useful tool, but I think the difference of having a physical book in front of us can also be a huge help. With agents, contests, magazines, articles, game writing, blogging, all of the options out there, I'm hoping I can get better and better at submitting something once a day.

Your turn. Where have you found some great writing gigs?

Sarah Allen

17 comments:

  1. I have not yet ventured into article writing (other than some free blog stuff). Thanks for the resources! Sounds corny but I would someday love to write an article for Seventeen since that was my jam back when I was young lady. They still have some decent articles.

    The Chicken Soup thing is a good idea too; my friend from college is featured in one of them but I don't remember who actually wrote it--I think it was a professor at our college.

    Great links!

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    1. I've totally looked in to Seventeen too! That's definitely on my list. I'm definitely still at the beginning stages of this, but I'd love to pitch lots of different places.

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  2. Thanks for the links. I'll make sure we have those at the IWSG site.

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    1. Awesome! I'll have to also go check out the other resources you have over there.

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  3. Thank you for the links this is for sure going into my query files.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

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    1. Yay!! Query files, that's a good idea.

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  4. Great links. Thank you.

    Hugs and chocolate!

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  5. Lately, I've been Googling for open calls for anthologies.

    So far I've got one short published and another accepted and being published in June. I've learned a lot and am grateful I'm not the only one carrying the marketing load.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    1. Oooh, that's a great idea! Adding that to the mental list :)

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  6. Thank you, Sarah. These are great resources. The one experience I've had in submitting that is unusual is grants. Years and years of grant writing and submissions. Getting a favorable review got harder as time went on because the research money dried up. Surprisingly, I've had more success since I started a second career writing fiction! ;)

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    1. Another great idea! I'll have to look that up as well.

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  7. Great choice for the letter S! I have "Sales" which is very similar, but yours is more spot on for writers.

    I'm slowly getting back into wanting to submit work elsewhere and your post is inspiring and action oriented thank to the links. I'm going to check those out. Thank you!

    Visiting via A to Z from Pass the Sour Cream. Co-Author (with my sons) of The Secret of Kite Hill.

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind comments! These really are some great resources, and can hopefully help you on your writing and submission journey.

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  8. Thanks for those guidelines and links.Will sure need to get into some of them :)

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