Being a writer means having piles and piles of literary resources. Books on writing improvement are perhaps scattered throughout your home. Writing prompts litter coffee tables. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a folder on your computer dedicated to things like literary magazines, small presses, book editors, and more.
And see, that’s perhaps one of the most valuable things: literary magazines and journals. Some of the most famous authors known to mankind began their careers by publishing in them. It’s how their readership expanded, and agents and publishers would take notice.
The same still applies today. While the Internet has made it easier to gain exposure for their work, writers are still encouraged to fill their portfolios with published work.
Poets & Writers, the website and magazine dedicated to providing invaluable resources for writers, and, well, poets, is a must. If you haven’t checked it out before, it’s highly recommended that you do now. Resources include writing prompts, a lengthy agents list, contests, and of course, literary magazines. You can find the entire 1,122 item long list here.
The American Comparative Literature Association, or ACLA, has compiled a “broad” list of journals for writers to use. It’s not comprehensive, so there are quite a few journals left out of the list, but it is still useful. In total, there’s fifty journals listed, covering several niches, including, but not limited to Canadian fiction, genre fiction and comparative literature. You can find the list here.
Still Not Convinced?
If for some reason you’re still not convinced that submitting work to literary publications is worth it, read this article. Staff writer for The Review Review, Becky Tuch, describes how literary agents read these publications. She also makes the case that it helps build your resume/portfolio, and can oftentimes lead to those “best of…” anthologies that these magazines and journals love to publish.
This means that while a writer may have a difficult time publishing his work through the traditional means, and might lack the time to self-publish, the chance for anthologies is high. They might still be published after all. And by getting this form of recognition, they have something major to add to their resume. Things like this can lead to promising careers.
If that’s still not enough, consider it a way of practicing for the long list of rejections every writer has to face. There’s no way writers can survive being rejected without actually being rejected several times. Even being told “no” takes practice.
Publishing in journals and magazines may seem like more of a chore these days, since most people opt for magazines like GQ, and Vogue. However, in the publishing sector, people do still read these publications religiously. How else would they still be around, if they weren’t being read?
For writers, it is important to submit to many of these publications. Enough short stories in magazines and journals, and someone is bound to notice. It’s how some writers land their agents, and how others don’t get discovered until well after their death.