You have completed your education in creative writing. You have read lots of books on how to write poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. You have spent many hours writing, revising, editing, and proofreading your own work. Now you want to see if you can publish your work in a magazine or journal. The first task you need to do is analyze the various publications—-to find the right fit for your work. Here is how to analyze a publication:
1.Check the credentials of the writers. Review the bios of the writers who have contributed to the publication. Ask yourself the following:
- Is the writer established or well known?
- Has the writer published any previous work?
- Does the writer have expertise on a topic? Perhaps the writer is a public intellectual or politician or professor.
- Has the writer won any major awards?
2. Check the content of the publication. You don’t want to submit your work to a publication that doesn’t publish your type of creative writing. Determine what types of creative writing are published in the journal, magazine, or online publication. Printed-based or online publications can publish any of the following:
- Short fiction
- Flash fiction
- Personal essay
- Literary journalism
- Book reviews
- Social criticism
3. Assess the editorial preference. Most magazines prefer a certain type of writing style, language, topics, and themes. It is your task to determine what types of writing the editor has a preference for. To do this, you first need to find out what types of journals or magazines you enjoy reading. Ask yourself the following:
- Do you like what you read?
- Do you like the topics that are covered?
- Do you like the writing style and language?
- Do you like types of poetry, fiction, personal essays that are published?
You can also get a sense of the editorial preference by determining the tone of the publication. Ask yourself the following:
- Is the publication a literary journal?
- Is the tone of the publication serious or humorous?
- Does the publication use satire, irony, exaggeration, and so forth?
- Is the tone of the publication optimistic or pessimistic?
- Does the publication use slang, vulgarity, or profanity?
- What are the themes and topics covered by the publication?
4. Check out the submission guidelines. All publications have guidelines for publishing. You need to find out what they are, and then follow them. If you don’t, your work will not get published, no matter how good it is.
Before submitting your work to a publication, do you homework. First, determine the credentials of the writers who have contributed work. As an aspiring writer, you want to submit your work to journals or magazines that accept work from new writers. Secondly, determine what types of creative writing the journal or magazine accepts. You are wasting your time if you submit poetry to a publication that doesn’t publish this type of creative writing. Finally, determine the editorial preference. Submit your work to magazines or journals that you enjoy reading and reflect a tone that is similar to the tone of your writing. By following these suggestions, you will improve your odds of getting published.