Thursday, May 21, 2009

Submitting Short Fiction to Literary Journals (Addendum)

Just got one of the warmest-fuzziest comments on my blog since this thing started. The timing is perfect because I'd been getting anxious about posting something --- Lord knows it's been a while.

My newest literary war-buddy, Peter, commented on what has turned out to be my most popular (not saying much really) archived post about "Submitting Short Fiction to Literary Journals," and also checked out the update I wrote a year later. Peter writes:

"Just discovered this post while searching for reputations of literary journals. The Excel spreadsheet you created is a godsend (yeah, that's my emphasis). I've been struggling to figure out some sort of logic for determining to which literary journals I would submit my short story manuscripts and this has been tremendously helpful toward that end.

...Again, thank you so very much for posting this article. At the least, now I know I'm not the only person who was initially overwhelmed by the task of selecting literary journals for story submissions."

Well that easily made my week, and possibly my month. I can't begin to express how much a note like this makes keeping the blog seem worthwhile. Thank you Peter. I concur: It is a tremendous relief to know others find the submission process overwhelming at the start. It's not just that I'm an idiot, yaaay!

Peter also asks:

"Have you considered Glimmer Train? I noticed they were missing from your spreadsheet, but a local writer suggested I check them out."

Indeed I have, and in fact they are one of the first journals I ever submitted a story to --- not my epilogue, but a different one I wrote a while back. I didn't include them in my spreadsheet because, at the time I last updated it, GT did not meet my imperfect criteria of publishing a story that has been featured in BASS or O. Henry in the last ten years. But that may simply be because they're relatively new?

Actually I'm looking now and I see they're 17 years old... so maybe they're not so new. At any rate I sense they may be on the rise. I see them cited all the time, and I remember them featured in a short list as one of the best journals in terms of financial compensation --- $700 for a standard submission! That's like 4-5 times the average payment.

I personally found GT's website and submission process very inviting compared to most other sites. In short, I highly approve of submitting manuscripts to Glimmer Train, and I may send my beloved epilogue there before long.

On a related note, it recently occurred to me in a bookstore what my next source for top-tier journals to add to my submission list will be: The Pushcart Prize, another annual compilation of prize-winning stories.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I swing by every day on my morning blog tour and nothing made me jump today! I have had the honour of being the first person to read and offer opinion on a book written about a Hogarth painting, or to be more exact, the subject matter which was a woman who murdered three other women. The author is currently going through submitting it to various agents/ publishers and nothing yet but I'm sure one day it'll get printed.

Keep the faith Jim!