Now that you’ve completed the research ingredient and edited your composition, the time has arrived to submit your work. Be certain to observe the rules of the writer’s guidelines and address your submissions or query letters to the contact person or department respectfully. Some publications will only take postal mail entries, while others will honor both email and postal submissions. Also comply with a publication’s request to send a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope) for a response or to return your manuscript. Many publications pay additional compensation for photo submissions that accompany your manuscript. Make sure that your photos are sharp, clear and look professional, whether they are digital or prints.
There are countless market resources available through various writing ezines, online newsletters and resource guides. One resource guide that is noted as the #1 resource for writers since 1921 is the Writer’s Market, published by F & W Publications. Writer’s Market is loaded with great information catering to novice, intermediate and professional writers. The contents of this resource guide covers information for beginning writers, interviews, the business of writing, literary agents, book publishers, Canadian and International book publishers and small presses. The markets cover consumer magazines, trade journals, contests, awards, Art Councils and Foundations and other resources. Additional networking and writing opportunities are also available through local, state, national and international writers clubs and organizations.
Be sure to do your homework to check for “scams and warnings” if you are not certain about the validity of a company you’ve never heard of or dealt with. Websites like Writers Weekly, Today’s Woman Writing Community and Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America have websites reporting complaints about unscrupulous people masquerading as legitimate businesses, while preying on unsuspecting writers. Their websites are listed at the end of this article.
Submissions can catapult into other great opportunities, whether it’s a request for speaking engagements, copywriting, teaching a class, writing a series of collections, selling article reprints, doing radio or TV interviews or receiving an advance for writing a book. The possibilities are unlimited, so don’t limit your growth opportunity.
Don’t forget to “rejoice in rejections!” No matter how many of them you receive, tweak and re-edit, continue sending them out to other markets. When I stopped looking at rejections as a personal attack and decided to take that opportunity to submit them to other markets, many were actually published. Some of the most famous writers were rejected hundreds of times! However, if they took those rejections personally and gave up on continuing to send out submissions, then they wouldn’t be famous today. Keep striving to be the best writer that you can be. If your writing is worth it, then don’t give up!