Where do the stories go?

I think the question I get asked most often as a writer is “where do you get your ideas?” And my answer to that is always “Costco. They sell them in bulk.”

Here’s the question I ask other writers most often, especially after I read one of their recently published stories: how did you hear about that magazine?

Writing the story and revising it—and then revising it again, and one more time, then shoving it in a drawer and saying “you’re dead to me” before pulling it out a month later and saying “I promise to treat you better,” then revising it again, and thinking maybe, maybe it’s done—

Wait, where was I? Oh, right. Writing and revising are perhaps the hardest parts, but then figuring out what to do with the thing once it’s finished is a different kind of quandary. Where do you send it?

Obviously, the first tier is to the magazines you love to read. I do that. I love to read Tin House, Glimmer Train, Malahat, and Subterrain, and Joyland, Little Fiction, and One-Story. Especially One-Story. (I love to read The New Yorker, too, but I’m not that arrogant.) But if it doesn’t fly at those places, or if maybe it’s not the right fit in the first place, where else could it find a home?
That’s when I turn to a few other resources. Here they are.

  1. The Creative Writers Opportunities mailing list. This has been run as a Yahoo group since 2005 and I think I’ve been subscribed for at least that long.
  2. Literistic. I should probably have listed this first, since it’s the first thing I check. There’s a free version, the short list, and a paid version, the long list, which is more tailored to your specific genre interests. I went ahead and plunked down for a long list subscription this year, and it’s been worth it.
  3. Lambda Literary’s calls for submission. I tend to write a fair amount of fiction with a queer bent, so I keep and eye on their submission calls board.
  4. New Pages Classifieds section. I get their weekly newsletter and peruse the most recent submission calls, then go to their classifieds section if I want more info.
  5. My friend ‘Nathan. Every week he posts an update on the stories he’s working on as well as the submission calls he’s aware of and working toward. Have you heard about a magazine seeking submissions? Let him know!
  6. Erika Dreifus. Every Monday she posts a roundup of submission calls, job opportunities, and more on her blog.
  7. Calls for Submission Facebook Group. As much as I hate Facebook (a topic for another post), this group is actually useful.

Where do you send your stuff? Let me know!

2 thoughts on “Where do the stories go?

  1. Thanks for getting this information out…I know it’s tough for a lot of “non-professional” (i.e. not always paid) writers to get more exposure…Some tips like this are important.

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