Getting your work out there and published (whether in print or online) is a hugely important step for a writer. It’s daunting and competitive, but the validation and knowing people are reading your work is hugely rewarding. It’s also an essential step in building a track record as a writer.
Here are some great websites which offer advice on how to submit your work to literary magazines:
…and some websites which collate and update places to send your work:
- Every Writers’ Resource
- Christopher Fielden
- Aaron Mullins
- International Writers Collective
- National Centre for Writing
- National Poetry Library
- Neon Books
- The Poetry Kit
- Poetry School
Submittable is a growing resource for submitting work–a portal for submissions but also has a growing list of opportunities.
Top tips on formatting your work
- Always read the magazine’s guidelines and follow them in terms of length, format, topic and so on
- Always use a standard serif font (like Times or Garamond) rather than a sans-serif font (like Calibri or Arial)
- Put the title at the top of the first page, and your name (unless stated in the guidelines not to)
- Double space and 11 or 12 point type
- Include page numbers
- Always proofread and get someone else to proofread–to find the small errors software doesn’t catch
- Never use colours or strange fonts, or include photos/illustrations unless indicated otherwise in the guidelines that these are accepted
- Don’t add ‘© your name’–it’s automatically copyrighted
Where should you start?
Have a look at the magazines you’re interested in which are open to submissions, and see if your work is in the vein of what they publish. Are there writers you love whose work they’ve published, or of the editors?
It’s also worth noting that many magazines need to charge a submission fee to offset their costs…choose carefully by seeing what they publish and set yourself a realistic budget. It’s also highly competitive, so don’t give up after sending your work to just a few places!