Why Writers Should Submit To Literary Journals In Multiple Tiers

You’ve written, edited, proofread (and proofread again!) your short story, personal essay, or poem, and now you’re ready to share it with the world. The next step is to begin submitting your work to literary journals and magazines for publication! But where do you even begin? Should you submit to the well-known, big-name publications and face lots of rejection, or start small but risk losing clout? Research experts and submission strategists explain why the best option is to submit to literary journals in multiple tiers to boost your odds of getting published.

Here’s Why You Should Submit To Literary Journals In Multiple Tiers

Sure, it would be great to be published in The New Yorker or the Paris Review. But those publications receive tens of thousands of submissions. Our submission experts recommend building publication credits in mid-tier literary journals before aiming for the top.

Build your publication credits faster. There is a time in every writer’s career when they are new to publishing and may not have many (if any) publication credits listed in their cover letter. But many midsize literary journals are excited to be a new writer’s debut publication! As you continue to submit and receive acceptances, your publication credits in your cover letter will grow. A diverse author bio is a strong bio!

Target your work to an eclectic mix of journals, consisting of both reputable independent presses and widely-known publications. This helps you achieve a higher acceptance rate since your work is viewed by a variety of talent-seekers.

Cultivate relationships within the publishing industry. Editors at mid-tier publications are typically easier to contact and often look forward to building relationships with the writers they publish. These networking opportunities in the literary journal community can lead to all kinds of positive connections in your future.

Get nominated for coveted prizes. Most small to midsized journals regularly nominate their published writers for well-known, prestigious prizes like Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. And with less competition at a mid-tier journal, your odds are better for getting a nomination! (It’s an insider tip we share with our clients.) So while your publication credit may not have big-name recognition, your nomination certainly will.

Have your work read more often (by more readers). Online journals can publish more frequently, so they reach a wider audience than print journals and accept more work within one publishing year. This is a win-win for you as a writer! By casting a wide net over several tiers of journals, you’ll have more opportunities to get an acceptance and build your writing résumé.

At the end of the day, the goal of writing is to get your work read. Getting acceptances in a variety of journals meets that goal, even without the famous moniker. And editors at those big-name journals may be more likely to be interested in your writing if they see you’ve been published elsewhere. The best submission strategy is to submit to a wide range of literary journals and get your work in front of as many pairs of eyes as possible. Then you can build your list of publication credits as the acceptances roll in!

Author’s Submission Service Est. 1994. We help authors reach their publishing goals with targeted submissions to literary agents and editors.

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