As you embark on your writing career, you may be looking for methods to help you get your writing pieces published. While there may be no foolproof way to ensure this will happen, there are some helpful guidelines you can follow in order to give your work a good chance at publication. Different types of writing will obviously take different paths to publication, and there are some general guidelines that are helpful for most types of writing.
While it seems like it should go without saying, one of the most important ways to ensure the publication of your pieces is to make your sure your writing is the best it can possibly be. This is true whether you are writing essays, articles, short stories, or poems. No matter how much research you do into where to publish your writing, it’s not going to be published if it’s not written well and carefully revised beforehand. If you are new to the writing business, it can be a good idea to have someone else look over your work prior to submitting it. Another pair of eyes will catch things you didn’t and enable you to give your work the editing and polish it needs. If you’re in a writing group, have the group critique the piece first.
Do Your Research
With that said, doing research into where to publish your work is also an important step. Even really terrific writing isn’t likely to be picked up by a magazine or online platform to which it’s just not suited. If you are writing a short story, for instance, it may be a certain genre or possibly remind you of other authors you’ve read recently. Look into anthologies and collections and see where stories like your story have recently been published, then seek out those magazines and journals or others like them. If you want to submit your story or a personal essay to a certain magazine, really get familiar with the kind of work they publish. If you can’t afford to buy their back issues, go to a library or bookstore that carries the journal and read them there.
Once you have familiarized yourself with a publication and its usual type of work, it’s important that you follow their publishing guidelines as very closely. Sending a magazine a 3,000 word story when you know they only publish very short fiction is not going to be a road to success. Not following their formatting guidelines is probably not going to give an editor a good first impression either. Different types of publications have unique style guides. Follow them to the letter if you want your piece to be seriously considered.
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Finally, it’s important to be professional in any dealings you have with an editor. You may not be published right away, but any encouraging feedback you get from an editor is a good thing. If they take the time to offer helpful suggestions, make sure to listen and to thank them. Their advice can be useful, and establishing friendly and professional contact with an editor may help you later as you continue to seek ways to get your writing pieces published.