The Mark Blog

Bookmark This: Your Submission Checklist

 
If your New Year’s resolution was to finally submit your work, this week’s Bookmark This is for you. The Review Review breaks down what literary editors are really looking for when it comes to submissions. From writing a good cover letter to learning how to respond to a personal rejection, the essay is a great primer to read before taking that creative leap.
 
“You, of course, are a writer. Let’s say you are just starting to send out. You are thinking, 'Am I any good? Will this make people I love believe I’m worthwhile? Is that third paragraph unnecessary as R said in workshop, but I still like it, and if I keep it, and my story gets published then that will show R, but what if R is right after all? Is this my first step to fame and glory? Am I a genius? Am I in fact too good for this magazine I’m sending to or not good enough?  Am I an idiot? Will my parents stop suggesting other jobs I could do given my education? Will strangers want to sleep with me because of my prose?' Etc. etc.
 
None of this is of interest to the editor. Remember the editor’s deepest wish: Send something perfect for us, please.
 
So your job is to help the editor by sending work that is developed, complete, thoroughly revised, and—of great importance—appropriate for the magazine.
 
To do that last part of your job well, you have to read the magazines.
 
Yes, you do.”
 
Read the rest of the essay here.