on Anne R. Allen:
How to make your literary journal submission jump from the slush pile.
I’m the executive editor of The Copperfield Review, a literary journal for readers and writers of historical fiction. Since 2000, I’ve read thousands of submissions of historical short stories and history-based poems.
Despite what you might have heard, literary journals are still flourishing. While it’s true that many journals have closed, it’s also true that new journals spring up every day. Readers, particularly those who love short fiction and poetry, still read literary journals.
Writers, whether they are traditionally or independently published, still like to see their work published in literary journals as a great way to build a reputation and a career. If you love to write short fiction and poetry, and many writers do, then literary journals are still the best option for getting eyeballs on your work. Many beloved writers got their start publishing in literary journals.
If you’re looking to publish in literary journals, there’s one important fact to keep in mind: most of them receive far more submissions than they can publish, which means that many authors are vying for few available slots.
One little-known secret (or perhaps it’s not so little-known) is that editors are looking for easy reasons to turn down a piece as they weed through hundreds of submissions. If you want your submission to have the best chance of being published in a literary journal, here are six tips to consider.