Written by A Guest Author April 8th, 2021

One Publication Is All You Need

By Olaitan French

Not all publications will give you the fulfillment you seek. Not all will walk with you through your writing journey. And the fact is, you don’t need all; you need just one.

That one publication is the reason most writers are more intentional in their relationships with the editors and journals that publish them.

They serve as an auxiliary social media team for the journals. They read for them on a volunteer basis. They promote their activities and recommend their content on listing websites.

All of these are done to seek that one pub that changes the status quo by embracing their art and considering them part of a publishing family.

When I submitted my poems to a journal, I did not know how they work. I submitted because — girl, what do writers do? They submit!

After months, one of the pieces got in. At that moment, they had no payment for international contributors. The journal is a paying market.

The editor came to me, stated their non-payment. Fascinated by the idea of publication, I agreed to non-payment.

Post-pub, the mag approached again. This time with an offer to panel one of their prizes. Guess what I did. Again, I agreed.

The agreement made me the first African panelist for the grey-haired prize. But that’s not just it.

On one of my Submittable searches, I stumbled on the same journal’s call for an editor. I applied. Early enough. My submission entry number generated by Submittable was 075. Even though the journal needed only 2 editors.

Days after, I got a message for an interview. I brushed, washed, and cleaned. Again, I got in. Out of hundreds. And again, I am the first African editor for this Texas-based journal.

It would have been great if it stopped there. But that one publication keeps giving awesome honoraria I do not expect. Keeps giving to fund my first AWP Conference. Keeps giving writing programs and mentorship privileges.

If I had known this journal publishes 6 works — only 6 works — out of the hundreds they receive, I would possibly not have submitted, but the risk was worth taking.

All you need is just one publication, not two, to change the narrative. And if you keep digging, you’ll hit it! If you keep writing, keep submitting, everything changes eventually!

Bio: Olaitan French is the pen name of an African writer, author, economist, and poetry editor. He has received multiple nominations for his works, published in several journals and anthologies. He has mentored in workshops, paneled in prizes, and organized literary events, festivals, and masterclasses. 


We Send You Publishers Seeking Submissions.

Sign up for our free e-magazine and we will send you reviews of publishers seeking short stories, poetry, essays, and books.

Subscribe now and we'll send you a free copy of our book Submit, Publish, Repeat