In a testament to the power of throwing things against the wall until something sticks, the October SUBMIT ALL THE THINGS! month is starting to pay off. I sent out one submission a day, either an already-written piece, a specially-written piece, or a story pitch.
- 9 1/2 acceptances (the half is a “tell us more” phone call from Snap Judgment about a pitch they didn’t pick up. But it was cool to hear Anna Sussman’s voice on the other end of the phone!)
- 12 rejections. Not gonna lie, the first five or six really stung, and wrecked my day for a whole day. But now there’s been enough of them that it feels more like, “Shit. Oh, well, next place.” Like missing a bus instead of not getting picked for the team.
- 18 still out, though that changes every day because I’m still submitting! Hurray!
Submissions have been irregular since October, but I’m planning to do SUBMIT ALL THE THINGS! again in January. Here’s the best part: when I’m focused on submitting, I keep coming across calls for submissions or types of magazines that make me go, “Oh, I have a story about that! I should write that down!” and a couple of my pieces got accepted because I wrote them specifically for a magazine that wanted that kind of piece.
Writers Omi (residency)
Poetry (I knew it was a long shot)
American Journal of Nursing
Kenyon Review (with a personal note from the editor and helpful feedback)
Snap Judgment “After Midnight”
Slash Pine Press
Definitely Not The Opera “Pilgrimages” (but I’m psyched to write the story as an essay and try to sell it elsewhere)
Elk River Ticketing (a commercial blog about events) - they're hiring a lead writer, btw
Vermont Studio Center (residency, didn’t offer enough financial aid so I said no)
Christian Science Monitor - they're taking short, positive personal stories (pays)
Smokelong Quarterly (This is my piece)
Snap Judgment “Layovers” (this is the one that didn’t make it all the way)
Definitely Not The Opera (My piece is about 12 minutes in)
Skillshare (to teach a How To Get Published class)
Atlantic Center for the Arts (residency with Rick Moody and I am SO EXCITED)
Brevity (conditional upon revisions, it’s in process)
And I got my first call for pitches that I didn’t know where it came from—somebody found me through something else and put me on their freelancers list without me contacting them first. I still haven’t “arrived,” but I’m beginning to feel like there’s an invitation with my name on it.
OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK
Skillshare is a site of online video classes in creative fields. I first signed up for “Killer Magazine Pitches,” and there are also classes in typography, social media, t-shirt design, etc. It’s a great chance to either study something cool at your own relatively brisk pace, or to take a skill you’re good at and monetize it while reaching people who will be part of your future platform.
Even if you don’t want to do it, it’s worth looking through the how-to-build-a-class tutorial for marketing tips and how to make your idea strong and sellable.
I’ll be posting a discount link for my class, Get Published In Literary Magazines, when it goes live. (And thanks to everywordiwrite for the topic idea—you get the class for free.)
ME ME ME ME ME: THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSION(S)
Responding to a pitch call from Biped Magazine, who publish “stories about people living with imagination: explorers, mad scientists, passionate lovers. Lifestyle is an art form.”
I’m brainstorming ideas for the topic and will send in two-sentence pitches for one or two story ideas by Monday, along with a request to please stay on the freelancers’ list for future themes.
The theme is “quitting” – they call for:
- When did you quit a relationship, job, hobby, addiction, degree, religion? How did you convince yourself to finally quit?
- Everyone fantasizes about what they'll do when they have nothing left to lose. Did you go out in style?
- Are you too legit to quit, even though everyone thinks you're crazy for continuing? Why will you never say die?
(And by the way, if you have a story you think fits that topic, let me know and I’d be happy to help you pitch it.)
And then I’ll hit ‘send’. WHICH IS LIKE SHOWING UP TO THE FIRST DAY OF SOFTBALL PRACTICE IN THICK GLASSES, HIGH SOCKS AND A RETAINER AND YELLING “PICK ME PICK ME PICK ME!”
LINK OF THE WEEK
It’s a Tascam recorder. It’s for making broadcast quality tape. It was for Christmas. Because The Hat really pays attention to what I’m doing with my life and wants to see me do it more and better. I realize this sounds like bragging, so imagine it in a tone of astonished gratitude.
What do you want to attract to yourself in 2014?