Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Once a Day Submission Rule

There are basically only two things a writer needs to do. Two parts to their career. The creative, writing part, and then the submission, selling, business part.

We hear about the writing schedule or word count daily goal thing all the time. I think that rule is wonderful, and one of the most important for writers. We need to always be writing.

I want to extend that to the other part of a writers career though, and say we always need to be submitting.

So, along with the 1000 words per day or whatever your writing goal may be, I have one more to add to it: submit at least once per day. This seems difficult or extreme until you really look at it. It can seriously be anything. A short story or poem to a magazine, a writing competition, a freelance article query, an agent query, a writing project bid on Elance, anything. You only have to do a small amount of research to see how many options there are out there.

For example, today I submitted a short picture book manuscript I've been working on for a while, and yesterday I submitted entries to the Utah Arts Council's Original Writing contest. Tomorrow I might query Dog Fancy, a magazine I've always been fond of, or finish writing and submit my entry to this pretty cool fantasy fiction competition. There are so many options. And if once a day is too much, then do once a week. Just have a specific goal, like with the actual writing. The point is, if you keep submitting, something good will eventually come.

Check out the contest section of Poets and Writers or See if your state's arts department has anything upcoming or find the submission guidelines for your favorite magazines. It's actually been really fun.

What other places can you think to submit writing?

Now I just need a way to support this rather expensive habit...

Sarah Allen


  1. Seek and ye shall find method. Good advice, Sarah.

  2. I'd throw out there that this doesn't have to be submitting for publication. Great if it is, but you should also aim to always have something circulating to readers.

    Just the cycle of catch and release is good practice, you know? Great post!

  3. Wow, that is such a good idea! I'm very guilty of not submitting anything for ages, and then doing lots all at once.

    Thanks for this post. I'm determined to follow your advice! :-)

  4. I take a longer view and try to submit 5 things per month. If for some reason I don't make my goal, the number rolls over to the next month. It's a good incentive not to fall behind!

  5. I've been off the submission rollercoaster for a while, but when I do decide to get back on, I use Duotrope as a home base of operations.

  6. I like the fearlessness of this idea. I tried to channel it last week as I submitted for a writing residency. :)


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