Why and Where You Should Start Submitting Your Writing This September

Written by Emily Harstone

“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged… I had poems which were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.”

Erica Jong

Starting to submit your work to literary journals is a hard task. Before you start, it can seem overwhelming. It is easy to delay submitting your first poem or prose piece to a journal indefinitely. The first submission I made took over an hour. However, now I can easily submit work in five to ten minutes, because it is a habit and I have a system established around it.

If you are one of those writers who has not yet submitted your work, or perhaps you just took a long break from submitting over the summer and need motivation to start submitting again, this article is for you. It focuses on all the reasons why you should start (or re-start) submitting this September.

1. Why Not?

Everyone I know is capable of procrastination. We even published an article on the benefits of procrastination. However, while procrastinating might help a writer write, procrastinating does not help your writing become published.

2. Most Journals Reopen to Submissions in September

The hardest time of the year to start submitting is the summer, when most journals are closed. Many literary journals are run by academic institutions, which means that the bulk of literary journals reopen during the month of September. Also many editors of smaller journals take the summer off, which means they reopen to submissions in September as well. Not only does this mean that there are hundreds of journals that are now open to submissions, it also means that the editors have had a break or the staff has turned over. This means that your work is more likely to be read by fresh eyes.

3. Some of the Most Prestigious Journals Have Just Reopened to Submissions

So many journals have just started accepting new submissions again, that it can be hard to sort the smaller journals from the more established one. If you really have your heart set on publishing your work in a prestigious journal AGNI, Copper Nickel, and ZYZZYVA have just started accepting submissions again. So have a large number of other respected journals.

Just remember that you can procrastinate forever, but that is not the road to publication. September is one of the best months to start submitting, so start now.

It’s important to note that some of the best journals open to submissions on the 15th. So if a journal isn’t currently open to submissions, it should be soon.

Where to Start Submitting

You can also try The Cincinnati Review, Grain Magazine (opens on the 15th), Ninth Letter (their postal submissions are always free), The Antioch Review and The Nashville Review. All of these recently reopened to submissions and are highly respected.

If you want to start somewhere more approachable, this list of 20 literary journals is for you.

Happy September and Happy Submitting!

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsThe 2019 Guide to Manuscript PublishersSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The Authors Publish Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Publishing.

She occasionally teaches a course on manuscript publishing, as well as a course on publishing in literary journals.

You can follow her on Facebook here.


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