I’ve decided to start submitting my creative non-fiction work to lit mags. I’ve only ever submitted a few stories in my life, but never have I had anything published. As always, I could use some help.
Despite my inexperience, I’ve come up with a few guidelines:
No longer will I submit to contests or magazines that require fees. I’m not in this for the money (I would be hard pressed to earn more with literary than technical writing). And I realize that having work rejected is part and parcel of the literary writing game. But paying a fee to have your work ignored seems silly. I’m not completely ruling out paying a fee, but I’ve only got so much time for submitting work, and the fee-based venues go to the bottom of the sort.
If I ain’t in it for the money, I am in it to boost my fragile ego (or at least earn some bragging rights). I am shooting for the best non-fiction publications, or at least the ones that will publish my work. This is where I could use the most help. When I asked my friend Gary Presley what he thought were some of the more prestigious non-fiction magazines, he offered some suggestions (links appear below my blogroll). One of my friends from the IWW suggested The Sun Magazine for a piece I recently submitted for critique.
For Christmas one year, Holly gave me one of those thick books that list all the publishers, but I haven’t found it too useful. It lists magaiznes by how much they pay and the genres they publish, but there wasn’t a particularly comprehensive list of non-fiction publications. For example, I could’t find listed Creative Non-Fiction Magazine or Brevity, which are the only two literary magazines that focus solely on creative non-fiction.
It looks like finding a venue that matches your own particular style is the toughest part about submitting (or if not the toughest, at least the first part). It doesn’t help that a lot of these magazines don’t have recent issues online or free back issues. Research is going to take an investment of time and money, but I don’t see any other way.