By Rebecca Victoria Ramirez
As I navigate my MFA program I find myself surrounded by great people with a great talent in writing. Sometimes this can be quite intimidating. Even more so is the news that yet another one of my peers has had one of her pieces published.
When I entered my first semester, I went armed and ready, or so I thought, to take on the literary world. I thought I’d be sending in pieces left and right, to anyone who was accepting them, because, after all, I’m a writer, right? But after my first experience of having a piece of my writing work shopped I decided I was far from ready to submit anything. And what resulted from that experience was a temporary withdrawal from writing due to an overwhelming fear of rejection.
I’ve heard that emerging writers should submit pieces like crazy but to be prepared for rejection. Rejection is good, I’ve heard. On the flip side I’ve heard that new writers should be choosy because it’s quality not quantity that publishers look for when deciding on whom to take a chance.
So which is better?
As a writer of non-fiction I frequently hear how hot the genre is right now. It’s what publishers are yearning for, I’m told. So submit stuff. Get your name out there. And while I believe this is true, I can’t help but think that as picky as I should be with the pieces I submit, I should pay equal attention to where they’re being sent.
With all the periodicals, online magazines, and journals out there, that might prove to be more difficult than it seems. You’ll want to get familiar with the outfit that you plan to submit to.
What kind of pieces do they tend to publish?
Does your piece seem like a good fit?
Below I’ve provided links to some potential online publishing opportunities. It’s a list I jotted down in a workshop with Roxane Gay so it comes from a great source.
Pieces on Women:
9th letter http://www.ninthletter.com/index.php/journal/submit-to-ninth-letter
Missouri Review http://www.missourireview.com/submissions/
And for an excellent source of literary journals that spreads across all genres visit the Poets and Writers Database: http://www.pw.org/literary_magazines
Rebecca Victoria Ramirez resides in Northern California with her partner, children, and an assortment of pets. She earned her BA in English May 2013 and will earn her MFA in Creative Writing January 2016.