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7 Reasons Why You Should Consider Submitting your Stories to Literary Magazines

This is a contributor's article by Natalia Bulat.

Have you ever written a story? Maybe, you are an emerging author or, maybe, to be a writer is still your dream. In any of such cases, this article is for you.

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After writing a story and presenting it to relatives and friends, every author faces searching a possibility of publishing.

However, it is not easy. Publishing process takes a lot of time, patience, and attempts. Due to that, it begs a question: is it worth to publish a story at all? Why writers should submit their pieces of literature to magazines? I would like to present you 7 reasons for it.

Let us look at them.

Reason 1. Submitting a story to a journal is a good idea if you want your piece of literature to be read by others.

Of course, you may limit the audience for the story to your family and close friends. It is nice to present your manuscript to them and to get their feedback. However, it is not enough to be a writer. 

What should one do to make a story known to wide audience? The worst way is to wait when somebody will open your manuscript on your memory stick and will find it amazing.

This situation seems unreal. Authors must care about their pieces of literature by themselves. Therefore, you may still be waiting for a miracle or you may act. Choose the second way if you really want your story to be known.

Reason 2. Submitting a story to a magazine can make you known as a writer. As well as your story can be known after publishing, you as an author can be known too.

However, it doesn't mean that you will become famous all over the world. Do not expect that publishing a story will make your name or pen name known to everyone. If your only wish is to be popular, this way doesn't suit you.

However, if you want to make a statement, submitting a story to a literary magazine is a good opportunity for it. 

Publishing your work will present you as a writer to those who will read the magazine. As a rule, your story will be read by other writers, and sometimes being known to them gives an opportunity to get their feedback and recommendations.

Thus, if you want to become a representative of such an honorable profession as a writer, submitting a story to a literary magazine is the first step for you.

Reason 3. Literary magazines provide real opportunities for authors who write stories. We have looked at some reasons for publishing stories at all. However, it can be still not clear why we consider publishing exactly in literary magazines. 

Are there any other ways to publish a story? Maybe, there are. For example, you can publish your piece of literature in a collection with other writers or you can offer to editors your own collection of stories. 

However, publishers prefer long prose. If you write novels, you can submit your manuscript to some editions and, in a case of an affirmative response after a consideration, you can have a book published.

As for stories, publishing houses are not generally interested in short prose and do not consider it. Therefore, literary magazines are often the only way to get your story published.

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Reason 4. Submitting a story to a literary journal can make your dream come true. Authors always wish their pieces of literature to be published. I cannot imagine a person who writes a story and doesn't want it to be read by others. To publish a work is not even self-realization – it is realization of a dream. 

Have you devoted hours for your story?

Do you love your personages?

Have you rewritten your story, then read it and rewritten again?

Have you repeated the last step twice or more times?

Have you created your story by your soul?

If your answer is "yes", then I am sure you are dreaming about publishing your story. Just imagine: printing ink is covering pages and your story is born. It is its second birth as the first time it was borne when you have written it. However, its second birth is a wonder, isn't it? I think it is. 

Nevertheless, remember: wonders often need our help to happen. Submitting a story to a literary magazine is a proper step to realize your dream and to let a wonder be.

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Reason 5. Literary magazines usually pay to their writers. To tell the truth, I am against writing and publishing something only because it can bring money.

From my perspective, great pieces of literature cannot be created when all the author's thoughts are about the payment that is possible to receive for them. The real award to a writer is when his or her work is published and is read by other people.

The nice fate for stories is that thing about which an author really cares. At the same time, writing as any other profession should be paid. Let the money be not an award, but an addition to publishing your story.

How much are literary journals ready to pay to their writers? Let us look at the following examples. Virginia Quarterly Review for short stories pays $1,000 and above.

One Story pays $500 and 25 contributors' copies. Antioch Review pays $20 per printed page and 2 copies of the issue. Cincinnati Review pays $25 per page. As we can notice, prizes differ from magazine to magazine.

However, while deciding to which journal you should submit a story, remember: choose not a journal that pays more, but that one which consider stories of your genre. This easy rule will increase chances of publishing your piece of literature.

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Reason 6. Submission process will teach you perseverance. I mean submission processes will, as there will be a lot of them. Publishing a story is not easy.

In most of literary journals, reading periods take few months or more. Be ready that, after consideration, your story can be rejected. Magazines deny works without any comments or explanations.

What should one do in such a case? Try again. And again. And again… Remember: the only way to get your story published is to make one more attempt. 

Going through difficulties always influences on our characters. Publishing process is not an exception. It will make you stronger, more patient and more persistent.

Just do not lose faith in success – and, with your story published, you will get an important and useful experience.

Reason 7. It is better to regret what you do than what you do not do. Are you still hesitating whether you should submit your story?

Then just do it. Do not let yourself regret lost opportunity. Be sure: your piece of literature is worth your efforts.

Remember: sometimes publishing a story requires one more attempt. Be patient, keep faith in your dream, and above all just do venture to realize it.

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