Intent on taking my own advice, I am rather slothfully uncovering new opportunities for publishing poetry and short fiction. I’ve shared a few of those discoveries in recent posts.
Here’s one I can’t use: Sink Hole is a journal that only publishes undergraduates. If you’re an undergraduate and you’ve got the time, send them your best work. My first published poem was in my college’s undergraduate journal, and I’m still pretty proud of it.
Add Hunger Mountain to the list of literary journals that charges a reading/submission/administrative fee for non-subscribers. I don’t know how recent this change is, but I submitted to HM a few months ago without a charge. It’s either a recent development, or, you know, the real reason for that kind rejection letter.
The Believer just tweeted “8000 Facebook fans! When did that happen?” Good for you, The Believer.
Sufjan Stevens on Spotify is my submissions soundtrack. As in literary submissions, not cool grappling lessons. That would be hilarious.
This post is from 2011. Today (2019), online submissions are near-ubiquitous, and submission fees are, in my experience, even more common.
Sundry notes of the literary type ahead.
I got a rejection letter from PANK today. Fine. The address it came from? email@example.com. Hilarious!
Dinty W. Moore, the editor behind Brevity, shared a link to this piece from The Missouri Review today via Twitter. From “Why Literary Journals Charge Online Submission Fees” :
One of the things worth recognizing is that the cost of submitting to a magazine is a fixed prospective cost: a cost that will be incurred and cannot be recovered. Submissions have never really been free. It’s simply that the cost (paper, envelopes, postage, etc.) has been paid to the post office, not the magazine. It didn’t go to the magazines. And I’m not saying that it should have. Freed up from (some) of the costs of submitting to literary magazines, has there been an increase in subscriptions? Has there been an increase in financial support of literary journals from writers?
No. Not at all.
In fact, submissions increase significantly. This varies from magazine to magazine, but the increase in submissions is somewhere between twenty to thirty-five percent.
The increase in submissions has more do with more people trying to be writers, getting MFAs, having to submit to more journals because of more competition, being unable to pay fees at every journal that charges them, or, if able to pay those fees, certainly not subscribing to more journals. It also just so happens that the streamlining of online submissions came at a great time: the world economy has been in the gutter for close to four years. I’m glad to be rid of the cost of paper and postage, but I’m not plunking those extra dollars down for more journal subscriptions. Yes, we keep hearing about how writers don’t have a lot of extra money, but that’s because, well, we (and you) don’t.
The fact that writers no longer pay the costs of postage to submit doesn’t mean that those phantom dollars are now a revenue stream to be captured. That money’s already going to other things, like paying student loans.