June WWS Orientation & Two Book Releases

by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Saturday, June 10th from 11am-3pm, Women Who Submit will host a public orientation and submission party at Art Share LA in the Arts District with free parking for attendees. Every other month, WWS hosts a public orientation and submission party for women and nonbinary writers in order to welcome new members to join our organization and learn about our mission and submission strategies in a comfortable, supportive and open environment. We will also have a round table discussion on strategies for applying to residencies and workshops.

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WWS Poetry Submission Blitz

By Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

In honor of National Poetry Month, Women Who Submit is hosting a Poetry Submission Blitz on April 9, 2017 from 12pm-3pm at the Arts District Brewing Company. A submission blitz is a call to writers to submit their well-crafted and cared for work en masse to tier one literary journals that historically have shown gender disparities in their publications. A submission blitz is a call to action.

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Highlight on WWS-Long Beach, CA: An Interview with Chapter Leads Desiree Kannel and Rachael Rifkin

How would you describe your city and your local literary community?

We like to say that Long Beach is a “little ‘big’ city.” We have a big and diverse population and lots of very different communities. In fact, LB was named one of the most diverse cities in the US according to the last census. A fact we are very proud of.

LB has a lot going on in the literary world. It isn’t hard to find a poetry reading, someone doing a book launch, or even a critique group. Independent businesses like coffee shops and book stores like to support LB writers and welcome small groups to do events such as readings or workshops. Continue reading

Highlight on WWS-NYC: An Interview with Chapter Lead, Kirsten Major

Women Who Submit: How would you describe your city and your local literary
community?

Kirsten Major: New York is a big-little city. We are 8 million in number, but the literary scene is small–everyone is about 1 person away from everyone else. Sharing air with literary giants is not uncommon. The five boroughs, plus Jersey City, plus Long Island reading scene is endless. My fantasy day job would be to be the Bill Cunningham of the literati, on my bike every night with a camera around my neck, on my way to a reading somewhere to take pictures of my world.

WWS: How did you hear of Women Who Submit, and why were you drawn to start a WWS chapter in your area?

KM: It just gets so. Darned. Hard. To keep putting yourself out there. Leland Cheuk, who wrote The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong, has written about this beautifully, persevering in the face of unstinting rejection. And also, it is mighty easy to have dedicated writing time co-opted by sending my work out if I haven’t in a while. Above all, it’s lonely. I am pretty active on Twitter so one day I put it out there, “Is there any one who knows if there are submissions parties? Is this a thing?” And someone sent me the WWS Twitter handle and I thought, that’s for me. It was absolutely key that Ashaki Jackson, co-founder, had a training session, coached me about attracting people and then worked her own NYC-based network of poets at Cave Canem,to help me get started. The national organization has supported me at every level and that keeps me going. Continue reading

Finding the Power in Submission

by Lisa Cheby

After my father died when I was ten, I watched my mother, who had been a stay-at-home mom, struggle with returning to the workforce while avoiding managing her grief. At the time, I only saw the struggle and deduced my job in life was to never depend on anyone else. This somehow translated into a reluctance to ask for anything from anyone. Through college and film school, I embraced autonomy, working summers to pay tuition on my own, coordinating moves within Florida then to New York City and Los Angeles on my own, paying my bills on my own, finding jobs on my own, buying a home on my own, and traveling on my own.

In her book Shakti Woman, Vicki Noble writes how the taboo of menstruation and women’s bodies paired with women’s conditioning to deny the Dark Goddess in themselves leads women to view autonomy as unacceptable and, quoting Sylvia Perera, devours their “sense of willed potency and value” (30). With all this autonomy, with all my effort to create a life where I depended on no one, I wondered why I still felt devoid of “willed potency and value.” Rather than empowered, I was disconnected and inhibited. Continue reading

Learning Your Audience: The Benefits of Submitting to Literary Journals, Grants, and Residencies (Even If You Don’t Get In!)

by Rachael Warecki

Two years ago, I decided I needed to focus my submission process. I’d received acceptances from some wonderful journals, but I’m ambitious as hell and I wanted to take my writing and submission goals to the next level. Around the same time, I also decided to apply for grants and residencies, so I started to target my submissions and applications more strategically.

As I’ve written previously, this approach has had some success, mostly in the form of personal rejections. But the editorial notes and feedback have given me more than just warm, fuzzy feelings of validation—they’ve given me a better sense of my most receptive audience. In the two years since I decided to submit more strategically, I’ve discovered that my writing seems to appeal mostly to editors and directors who are women. The judges and editors who’ve written me the warmest rejections have identified as women or represented women-centric organizations, or both.

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The Art of Submitting to Writing Contests

by Tammy Delatorre

It was the first writing contest I had placed in. I was in the seventh grade. Our English teacher had forced us to write haikus and entered them—with a brief mention of this in class—into a statewide contest. On a field trip, we would find out the winners.

Cut to: We’re crowding into an auditorium, the good meal of a tuna sandwich and milk swimming in my belly. I was looking forward to a fun bus ride home, when a woman on stage announced I had won honorable mention for my haiku. Having heard my name, I looked around. People were waving me onstage. In a daze, I went up and accepted my ribbon.

For the most part, every writing contest I’ve placed in thereafter goes pretty much the same way. Bleary-eyed incredibility. I won. Are you sure?

Over the years, I have learned many lessons about entering writing contests, and chief among them is 1) you don’t have to believe you have the best submission out there to win. I know this from entering more than 100 contests and having placed more than 10 times, which brings me to another lesson: 1b) people who win contests typically submit a lot.

The next contest of note: I was a sophomore in college. There was a call to write an essay or poem about friendship. I was a poor student and needed the money. I had a best friend at the time (although I eventually lost her). She was my inspiration to write an embarrassingly bad poem that won $500. This brings me to another very important lesson: 2) the subject material should be extraordinarily important to the writer. I loved that best friend. I might have even been in love with her, the emotions so stirring it brought others to see the value in my piece.

One contest was local, sponsored by the Ventura County Writers Club. My short story placed third, won $120, and ran in the Ventura County Star. A writer I admired (Thaddeus Rutkowski) saw my story and asked to run it in the literary magazine, Many Mountains Moving, for which he served as editor. The lesson here: 3) size doesn’t matter; all types of contests can help in the advancement of a writing career. It was the first time I was called to read as a recognized author, not just part of a workshop or requirement for my MFA.

In another competition, River Styx Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest, my piece, “Gifts from My Mother,” won a case of beer along with $1500. The story was less than 300 words. I’d been writing a lot of flash fiction and thinking, why am I wasting my time writing these short pieces? This brought me to another lesson, a variation on the size-doesn’t-matter theme: 4) short pieces have immense value. My roommate at the time loved beer; he drank the alcoholic portion of my winnings. I was happy to share.

I found out River Styx was hosting a reading in St. Louis, Missouri. I excitedly offered the editor to fly out from LA to participate. He said, but you’ll spend half your winnings to just come out here. I let him talk me out of it. In truth, I really wanted to go and had always regretted not doing it, so…  6) if you’re fortunate enough to win a contest, always find a way to perform a reading of your winning work—to honor the work, to celebrate your success, to tell the universe, Thank you! Thank you so much!

At that point in my writing, a friend of mine mentioned she’d met a great teacher who taught personal essay. I had no desire to write personal essay, but a couple other lessons that have helped in my overall development as a writer and eventually led to other contest successes were…  7) always be on the lookout for a good writing mentor, and 8) try not to limit the kind of writing you say you’re going to do, are willing to do, or are good or not good at… Try all kinds of writing. One type informs the other.

So I took the class. That personal essay mentor, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, told me a lot of things. Chief among them: 9) professional writers get paid to write, and in a side comment when reviewing one of my essays: 10) I think you’ve had an interesting life. For me, that was probably the most earth-shattering lesson of all. I didn’t know that people might find my life interesting. At the time, my life—full of family secrets—was something to hide, not publish.

I went home and searched my journals and notebooks. I’d been writing about my life all my life, so why not try to write something remarkably personal? I wrote “Out of the Swollen Sea,” which went on to be selected by author Cheryl Strayed as the winner of the 2015 Payton Prize and published on therumpus.net.

But when I first finished that essay, Taffy’s important words rang in my ears (see #9). If my mentor had inspired me to write a piece so personal, how could I let her down and submit it to venues that would pay me nil, nada, zilch? So I thought, how could I get paid for this piece? What did I think this piece was worth?

Those questions led me to a submission strategy and an experiment of sorts. If you’d like to learn about it, come to the February Submission Party hosted by Women Who Submit, Saturday, February 13 at the Libros Schmibros: Lending Library & Bookshop (1711 Mariachi Plaza de los Angele, Los Angeles, California 90033). I will be leading a discussion on successful strategies for submitting to writing contests and share my “Anatomy of a Submission.”


bb5bc3b5-4e1f-41a2-8c80-d8277c6407baTammy Delatorre is a writer living in Los Angeles. In previous lives, she’s worked for a Nobel-prize-winning biochemist; helped to build and race a solar car that won the World Solar Challenge in Australia; and danced the hula despite being teased of stiff hips. Her essay, “Out of the Swollen Sea,” was selected by Cheryl Strayed as the winner of the 2015 Payton Prize, and her most recent essay, “Diving Lessons,” won the 2015 Slippery Elm Prose Contest. More of her stories and essays can be found on her website: www.tammydelatorre.com.

On Saying Yes: Fight the Fear

by Kate Maruyama

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Eight years ago, I had two small kids and had sunk whole-heartedly into the motherhood thing. I was working reading scripts for money, which I did at home after the kids had gone to sleep. I was writing screenplays because that’s what I always did, but otherwise I didn’t have to see people much or be out in the world. I loved my kids, and that part of my life was all consuming, exhausting, hilarious and exhilarating, but I had unwittingly cut off an entire part of myself. My brain was occupied with planning meals, organizing around toddler sleep patterns, childhood illnesses and, honestly, thoughts of when which kid had pooped last. It was easier to call myself a stay at home mom than a failed screenwriter. Somewhere along the way, I lost track of my thinking self.

But when my youngest was about to go off to kindergarten, and my screenwriting career hadn’t so much happened, I got overwhelmingly and completely depressed. This was not helped by the fact that my five year old daughter asked, “Why do Daddies work and Mommies stay home?” My own daughter, who was meant to be a third generation feminist, was making sense of the world in a way I hadn’t envisioned at all. My idea of a career had all but evaporated and the script reading work was on the wane, reducing my monetary contribution to the family considerably.

What could I possibly do next? What at all did I have to offer by way of career or even basic income? Despite my extensive experience in the film industry and in screenwriting, I learned that I couldn’t teach screenwriting without a Masters. Going to grad school in something I’d spent fifteen years working at and feeling like a failure at felt defeatist. A friend told me about Antioch’s MFA in Creative Writing program and my first knee jerk reaction was, “I can’t do grad school! I wasn’t even good at college! How could I do grad school?” Everything I thought of was met with a fearful, internal, “no.” Finally, I went down to campus for an informational meeting, and learned about Antioch’s social justice mission and its focus on creating a writing life. It felt like coming home. So after having written one pretty terrible novel on my own, I applied. I needed schooling. And I needed to start saying yes, even though I was afraid.

Only when I came home high from my first residency, a ten day whirl of writing workshops, lectures, new friendships, from using my brain again, from being completely consumed in thoughts, words and concepts, did I realize how afraid and cut off I had become over the past several years. It wasn’t something that happened all at once, when I had my kids. I certainly can’t blame them. Instead, it crept up on me. I fell out of touch with my pre-kid friends. I backed away from opportunities for reunions with people I used to work with. I became better acquainted with cable television, which grocery stores to hit and doing all of my work online so as to avoid personal contact. Early bedtimes. I was writing less. All of the goals I had set for myself in my twenties had come and gone. As a result I had simply shut down. For some reason it felt easier and more comfortable to resign myself as a failure than to risk actual failure.

But after that first residency, with my brain reawakened, my need to write rekindled in fiction, I could see that this trap into which I’d fallen had happened too easily because of fear. I felt like I’d lost a decade of forward movement to that fear, and I wasn’t going to do that ever again. Here I was at forty, finally at an age where fear was no longer an option, starting a new career all over again.

So often I had put things off with, “I can’t. I don’t think I can,” or, “I couldn’t possibly be qualified to…”

I have learned that one way to trick the brain past these fears is to sign up to do something well in advance of having to do it.

Instead of waiting for a place of comfort, where I knew I was prepared and ready, I started promising to do things before I could fully wrap my mind around actually doing them. This worked because, the way I was raised in New England, backing out of something you’ve already signed up for isn’t really an option. Signing up for something out of my reach was a bit like a dare to myself. Learning to say “yes,” before I was certain I was ready.

So, knowing I was terrified of public speaking, at the next residency in my MFA program I signed up for a “brown bag reading.” I would get up and read my writing in front of other students. I had never done this before. The week before the reading, I practiced and practiced and timed it and when the day came, my voice did a weird warbly thing, and I lost my place twice and broke into a flopsweat, but I got through it. When I finished, I resolved to sign up for another one six months later.

I was working on a novel, but had come up with some short stories along the way. The idea of having them read and judged by strange editors was terrifying. But I realized that all of the published writers in my program had actually submitted their work to journals in order to get it published. You may laugh, but that’s a leap of logic a lot of fearful writers don’t always understand. If publication is validation, and if you feel like you don’t belong because you aren’t published, you actually have to submit your work places to have it read and rejected in order for it to be published. You have to put your work out there.

No one was going to write to me and ask me for a story and my finished stories, already read by mentors and peers in my program, were not going to get into journals by osmosis. I had to put my work in front of actual editors. So I set myself up with Duotrope. The lists of journals upon journals were overwhelming until I figured out the filters, but I finally had it wired and submitted my story to one place. I believe I took a nap afterward.

It didn’t take me long to realize I was sitting around waiting for an answer on this story. One thing it’s taken me many years to learn as a writer is: Waiting is not an activity. This magazine cautioned that responses could take up to six months. When the next Saturday rolled around, I submitted my work three more places. Soon I got into the ritual of submitting. I submitted three short stories a total of 70 places before I got my first publication.

A friend asked me to contribute to an article about my work as a woman screenwriter. I felt I had no place to speak on the matter as, in my mind, I had failed in that endeavor, but I said yes. I sat down and wrote her something. It turned out I had a lot to say.

Another friend asked me to speak at her high school about the glass ceiling for women in the working world. It was a subject we had talked about in passing. I felt I had no place to speak out on such a subject, but said, yes. Over the course of the next few months, I worked up a lecture and slideshow that followed my mom’s work as a reporter in the fifties and tracked all the way up through my work in Hollywood. The talk was pretty good and I learned a great deal in putting it together. The students were fantastic and responsive, and I realized that saying yes before I was ready was a fantastic challenge and pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Saying yes WHILE afraid is now my modus operandi.

Will you write a genre story to submit to this anthology on a specific subject? Help! I can’t come up with a story on command, are you kidding?? Yes. Even though it wasn’t included in the anthology it was requested for, had I not said yes, the story would not have been written and placed into a different anthology of which I’m quite proud. Will you be on a panel at a writers conference with people who know so much more than you about a subject? Yes. Turned out I had useful information on submitting work as practical and useful for the writers at the conference as the words of the more experienced New Yorker published writers I was sitting with and felt less worthy than. Can you submit a Christmas-related horror story for our anthology? Are you out of your mind? How can I come up with a themed story in a month? Yes. Another story that wouldn’t have happened in a collection that seems to be doing well for itself.

I was asked to come up with the book coaching program for inspiration2publication.com through my alma mater. Terrified and feeling underqualified, I ignored my inner “No” and said yes, and it turned out I was exactly the right person for the job. My years of experience giving screenwriters notes in the film industry complete with the work I’d done with students and fellow writers made me ideal. While I squinted my eyes shut and repeated, I belong at this table, I belong at this table, I belong at this table, I not only put the fear behind me but grew the job into something I love to do and believe in.

Pushing past that resistance is essential.

OLLI talks, Cal State Fullerton, runs inspirational talks for retirees. They asked if I would do a 90 minute talk about writing in their 150 person auditorium. I asked if I could have the audience do writing exercises. I am fully comfortable teaching a writing class for 90 mins. They said no, it would be lecture format. Eeek! But Yes. I’m putting together information and a slideshow I’m guessing will teach me as much as my audience. I’m terrified, but I’ll let you know how it goes.

So in this New Year, as we go forward ask yourself: What are you afraid of? What have you turned down doing so often before? It could be simple as going out with fellow writers. Maybe speaking publicly is your jam but getting your work out there is your challenge. Maybe you need to ask to be in an anthology. Maybe you’ve submitted a ton of work but are terrified of hosting something. Host a reading! Put together a bunch of people for an event! Apply for a far away writers’ retreat. Do the thing that scares you. Better yet, write about the thing that scares you to write about. Because the truth is, you’re only on this planet for one ride, and hanging in your comfort zone binge watching Netflix is definitely a nice way to pass the time, but it’s much nicer to do after you’ve done the one thing you thought you couldn’t. Or wouldn’t. This is the year of pushing forward and doing the scary thing. This is the year of you as a writer. Carpe Annum.


8c2efcb6-bf5d-43cd-9b5a-6e7f3973c8b6Kate Maruyama‘s novel Harrowgate was published by 47North. Her short work has appeared in Arcadia, Stoneboat and Controlled Burn and is now featured in two new anthologies, Phantasma: Stories and Winter Horror Tales as well as on The Rumpus, Salon and The Citron Review among other journals. She teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles in the BA and MFA Programs and for inspiration2publication.com as well as for Writing Workshops Los Angeles. She writes, teaches, cooks and eats in Los Angeles where she lives with her family.

Closing the Gap: On Confidence and Community

by Ramona Pilar

Reposted with permission from our friends at Lumen Magazine, where this article was first published on August 5, 2015.

Women Who Submit was born out of a reaction to a couple of gross injustices: a) women are not being published as often nor as broadly as men, and b) women may not be submitting or resubmitting their work as often as men. Men and women of color are published to an even lesser degree.  The founders of Women Who Submit took this information, acknowledged it, and asked themselves what could be done to change this?

The Atlantic published an article called “The Confidence Gap” which posed the idea that “… there is a particular crisis for women—a vast confidence gap that separates the sexes. Compared with men, women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions, they predict they’ll do worse on tests, and they generally underestimate their abilities. This disparity stems from factors ranging from upbringing to biology.” In their research, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman found that women will tend to psyche themselves out of opportunities if they don’t feel close to, if not perfectly suited for the opportunity while men did not have that particular issue.

While there are exceptions to generalizations, there was enough of a commonality to infer that a lack of confidence was one of the reasons why women weren’t submitting their work for publication as often as men.

Confidence is something I personally struggle with when it comes to writing, much less submitting my work for publication. There are layers upon layers of experiences that have transformed me from the bravado-fueled fireball I was in adolescence (my most prolific writing years to date) into a domesticated housecat who refuses to come out from under the bed, shiny eyes reflecting at you from the furthest corner, resigned to remain planted until I’m good and ready to come out.

I’ve been an active member of Women Who Submit for about two years. In that time I’ve submitted work to a total of maybe 10 places. Which, comparatively speaking, is a fraction of a fraction of the amount of submissions other members have followed through on. But comparison is not the point and has never been the point. What brings me closer to crawling out of the safe, uneventful, under-the-bed darkness is being around women who have navigated out of that safe crawl space. Women who have more experience submitting than I do.

The trick, I’ve learned, is to focus on what is actually within my control rather than on being accepted. I can control the content I create, the journals I submit to, the frequency with which I submit pieces. There is not one way to do anything. For example, I’ve acquired four different versions of cover letters to send with submissions. Each of them different and each of the women who shared them with me had success with her version and their reasons why they stuck by it. Hearing sometimes contradictory advice lets me know that the point cannot be about acceptance. That is a faulty, foul gauge of success. The point is to commit to submitting or getting my work ready to submit, at whatever pace feels comfortable for me. Cats don’t live under the bed forever.

The mere act of getting together with committed frequency, either in person or virtually, via Skype or checking in via email, matters. That sense of community is paramount to success, for me individually, and for the overarching goal of working towards gender parity in publishing.

Confidence isn’t some magic superpower only a chosen few are anointed with at birth. It’s something that comes from tangible practicality, from looking at a daunting task and knowing it can be broken down into easily digestible, easily completed tasks. I am inspired by and grateful to the women who have demystified submission by showing me how it’s done.


953012fc-9c9a-4fd6-a657-4393b5e68787Ramona Pilar is a writer, performer, emotional fluffer and native Californian. She is currently working on a collection of essays entitled “Darth Vader Abandoned his Daughter and Other Thoughts Along The Heroine’s Journey.” She can occasionally be found troubadouring with her band The Raveens.

Closing the Gap: DON’T CHEAT. YOU CAN STILL GET PUBLISHED.

Back in September, The New Republic published an article entitled, “Cheat! It’s the Only Way to Get Published.” but not everyone was so convinced. Here is one rebuttal from writer, Rachael Warecki reposted here from Zoetic Press, first published October 5, 2015.

First, let me say that I’m aware I have several legs up in the literary world just by dint of being white, middle-class, over-educated, and employed in a white-collar job. My family and friends have always been supportive of my desire to write, even when they haven’t understood it; I’ve never had anyone tell me that writing is something I shouldn’t do. I have time, space, and a room of my own: in many ways, to many people, the life I lucked into could be considered its own literary cheat.

In the fall of 2011, though, I was recovering from several serious medical issues, unemployed, and in the middle of my first semester as a graduate student in Antioch University Los Angeles’ MFA program. (In the spirit of encouraging fellow emerging writers, it’s perhaps pertinent to add that I did not just sail into an MFA program; Antioch accepted me off the waitlist.) I didn’t have any literary connections to recommend my work. I didn’t have any prestige-journal stationery on which I could write my cover letters. While looking for literary magazines that might publish my short stories, I noticed a call for submissions for the inaugural issue of The Masters Review, a lit mag that—at that time—was only open to writers attending grad school.

Back then, my assets consisted of my words, my classmates’ assurance that my stories were ready for publication, and the generosity of a literary magazine truly committed to helping new writers succeed. Because The Masters Review’s author demographic was so narrow, I thought my work might have a better chance of successfully making its way through the slush pile. As it turned out, I was right: my short story “The Rites of Summer” was published in The Masters Review’s 2012 issue.

In the years since, I’ve worked to build those post-slush literary relationships. I’ve kept in touch with one of The Masters Review’s editors, and I’ve continued to submit my work to their contests and anthologies, which have now expanded to include all emerging writers—not just those in MFA programs. My most recent submission, “10:25 a.m. EDT,” earned an honorable mention and a pending review from a top literary agency, which is an amazing career opportunity for which I’m eternally grateful.

More importantly, I’ve also continued to work those slush piles. Although I had zero relationships with any of the top-tier literary magazines, once I had work I thought was strong enough, I started shooting for the moon. Out of those long-shot submissions, I’ve received personal rejections and encouragement from fiction editors at Tin House, The Atlantic Monthly, Agni, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Blackbird, and PANK. I say this not to brag, but to point out that you can submit to slush piles of top-tier magazines and, if your work is a good enough fit, editors will start to pay long-term attention to you, even if you don’t have a list of previous publication credits or a fancy lit mag’s letterhead to back you up.

Here’s the rub, though: at the most basic level, if you want to be published without “cheating,” you need to be selective about what you send. Three years later, I’m still proud of “The Rites of Summer,” as I am of every story I’ve published, but I’ve also written stories that I’ve stopped submitting for now because I know they’re not yet strong enough for the markets in which I want to be published. Of my unpublished work, I have three “powerhouse” stories making the rounds of contests and top-tier literary magazines, but I also have five other stories, all written almost two years ago, that I’m still pumping up to that heavyweight level. Beyond that, everything else is unsalvageable for various reasons. That’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my fledgling writing career: my work can be well-written and well-constructed, but it can still be too unoriginal, too white-bread, and/or too autobiographical to be publishable. Not everything is fit to print.

Which leads into the fact that you also need to be selective about where you send your work. If you’re an emerging writer, look for literary magazines that are committed to finding, publishing, and promoting emerging writers; that way, you won’t be competing for limited page space with the likes of Joyce Carol Oates and Adam Johnson. The Masters Review is a great place to submit since it’s only open to new voices, but many other top-tier publications, such as Glimmer Train and A Public Space, hold contests and grant fellowships specifically designed to attract new writers. If you’re working in a certain genre, submit to magazines that appreciate that genre rather than disdain it. If you think a certain publication might be a good fit for your work, get a hold of some back issues to make sure—even print journals usually have one or two stories available for free online.

The world of literary journals and publications can seem exclusive, insular, and elitist, and that reputation is in many ways deserved. But it’s not a completely impermeable membrane, and you don’t have to cheat to make inroads. Just be strategic and selective about your submissions, and don’t be afraid to cultivate relationships with other writers, wherever you may find them.


 

1091093_347757792022433_1818843801_oRachael Warecki received her MFA in Fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles. She is also an alumna of Scripps College, Loyola Marymount University, and the 2008 Teach for America Los Angeles corps. Her fiction has appeared in The Masters Review, Midwestern Gothic, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. In her spare time, she enjoys rooting for the Cleveland Indians and the Ohio State Buckeyes. She is currently at work on a novel.