Mission Possible: Get Published with Goals, Guidance, and Persistance

You send me an e-mail. You tell me you've written over three hundred poems since you were 16 (in your teenage angst stage). You mention the novel you've completed and it's really good (it really is!!!), and the novel-in-progress. You mention how the International Library of Poetry has published one of your poems. (But, whom haven't they published?)

However, all your work is stored away, hidden from the public eye on a black little disk.

You have one mission: Getting published.

"How do I get published?" you finally question at the end of the e-mail.

At times, I ask myself the same question.

Is this mission impossible? To many, it seems that way. If you stick with me, I'll make the publishing process slightly simpler.

On this mission, you'll need three things: Goals, Guidance, and Persistence.

An unmentioned New York City college (as well as other schools, I'm sure) offered a course on "How to Get Published". Various bigwigs from major publishing houses in New York City were guest speakers on many occasions.

A writer-friend of mine felt it would be a great opportunity to network and finally understand how to get her works published in magazines, and various books. I was hesitant, and suspicious of the course's objectives, so I didn't follow the friend's lead. I was far from disappointed about my decision. You'll soon discover why.

Getting published isn't as hard as you think. But, when you're a beginning writer getting published seems as difficult as James Bond jet-skiing along the River Thames with five barges heading his way.

As a beginning writer, I feel, the main priority should be getting your name out there in the public's eye. Understand that, at times, you'll have to accept the free issues instead of cash payment. Before you consider publishing though, you should reassure yourself a rejection slip won't lower your self-esteem and cause you to never pick up a pen, or stroke another key at your keyboard. Hey, trust me, rejections happen to everyone! Here are a few suggestions to better your chances of getting published:

  • Write, Write, Write. This is the obvious one. You need to write all the time. Too many writers say, "I have a novel about . . ." And the novel sounds spectacular. But, when I ask if I can read it, offer suggestions, the writers finally admit, "Oh . . . I haven't started on it . . . But the title of it is . . ." I despise working with an enthusiastic, talented writer who simply won't write. Don't waste your breath! Whatever you do-write your work first, and then speak about it so you won't look/feel like a fool.

  • Edit, Edit, Edit. If you feel your work is perfect (or as good as you can make it), keep in mind-nothing is perfect! That's what editors are for! If you are a college student, ask a professor to read it at his/her leisure. If you're already in the workforce, ask a well-read co-worker to edit it. Or, since you've some extra cash to spare, hire an editor. Many places, like OutStretch Publications, for instance, offer extremely reasonable prices for editing/proofing services.

  • Share Works with Others. This is when a workshop comes in handy. Students-take a creative writing course. Or, if you're not in school, give copies to about 5 or 6 acquaintances in advance. Then, schedule a "reading" at your place. Allow the guests to give suggestions and talk about your work as if you're not there. Remember, all criticism is helpful criticism. Remember to ask questions about the shaky portions of your work.

  • Websites: Build a website and add your writing to it. Or, even easier, find some of the online places like poetryboard.com, or some of the AOL bulletin boards where writers you don't know can critique your work, and people like me (who have a publication) may find your work and ask for your approval for publication. (This is a very rare occasion, but it does happen.)

  • Here's the TRICK: Mass Mailings! If you happen to see 2, 3, 4, or even 5 publications that don't mind simultaneous submissions and accepts work similar to what you've written, send your work to all of them. Sure, sending out a mass mailing of submissions will guarantee more rejections, but you also better your chances of getting published. Remember, include SASE with each submission or 9 times out of 10 you'll never hear from the publisher/editor. (Some publishers like you to include your e-mail address nowadays for quicker responses.)

  • Keeping Track. Keep track of all of your submissions. Be organized. A simple database program is perfect. In the database, list 1) the date you submitted work, 2) the publication and its address, 3) the works you submitted, and 4) the date you receive an acceptance/rejection slip.

    If, for some reason you DO get a rejection slip. So what? Just think of it like this: Perhaps the publication wasn't right for your writing. Better still, everyone has his or her own opinion, so the editor simply didn't favor your particular style. Someone else out there probably appreciates your style of writing. Perhaps your submission was received past their deadline. Big deal. Send it somewhere else! Remember, though, writing can always be improved.

    Now that you've read this, let me tell you something. This is everything my writer-friend learned from the writing course. Seems simple, eh? And, what's even better, unlike my friend, you didn't have to pay a course fee!

    This mission doesn't seem so impossible now, does it?

    Grab the goals of getting published, the guidance I just gave, the persistence with mass mailings and get yourself published.

    Good luck with your publishing endeavors!

    About The Author

    Stephen Jordan, a medical editor, has five years experience within the educational publishing industry. Stephen was a freelance editor with such educational foundations as Princeton Review, The College Board, New York University, and Columbia University. Away from the office, Stephen promotes his creative writing with his home-freelance business OutStretch Publications and his artwork. Stephen holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in writing and literature from Alderson-Broaddus College of Philippi, West Virginia.

    [email protected]

    In The News:

    This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

    Winston-Salem Journal

    Engineer-turned-writer finds her voice writing for kids
    Winston-Salem Journal
    Answer: I went to college for mechanical engineering and didn't take any writing classes. So it took me years to find my genre and voice. Not to mention that I knew nothing about the business of publishing. Initially, I bounced from romantic comedies ...


    RollingStone.com

    Ashley Monroe on Sexy Songs, Writing While High and Unattainable Crushes
    RollingStone.com
    We've been writing. We went on the road recently and that was really the first time we've sat down with the intention to just write. We did once at Miranda's house, but sometimes we get to talking, we get distracted. But on the road a few weekends ago ...


    PEOPLE.com

    Jordan Peele Jokes He's Writing Get Out 2 After Kanye West Tweets About the 'Sunken Place'
    PEOPLE.com
    Jordan Peele, who wrote and directed the Oscar-winning horror thriller, joked that he's getting started on a followup after the rapper referenced the film in a Twitter post. “Do this look like the sunken place,” West, 40, asked fans, along with a photo ...
    Jordan Peele Tweets Kanye West Has Inspired Him to Start Writing 'Get out 2'Comicbook.com
    Kanye West's 'Sunken Place' Tweet 'Inspired' Jordan Peele To Start Writing 'Get Out 2'UPROXX
    April 25, 2018 - TwitterTwitter
    PEOPLE.com
    all 754 news articles »

    KOMO News

    Eric's Heroes: One woman's fight to keep the art of letter writing alive
    KOMO News
    Rachel is a one-woman army, venturing out to wage mortal battle against lazy, thoughtless communication. She puts out little tables and chairs, stationary and envelopes, buckets of pens. Rachel calls herself "the letter farmer." She is here to help you ...


    Vulture

    Curtis Sittenfeld on Writing Her New Short-Story Collection and Adapting It Into a Kristen Wiig TV Series
    Vulture
    I think I felt wound up from being on book tour, and kind of distractible, and I thought, “I need to calm myself down by writing.” So I wrote this story that I called “Gender Studies,” and I submitted it to The New Yorker. When that story was submitted ...


    Engadget

    Researchers digitize writing with cheap, touch-sensitive paper
    Engadget
    Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a paper that can track touch, which, among other applications, could lead to an inexpensive way to digitize writing. They're presenting their work this week at the ACM CHI Conference on Human ...

    and more »

    The Texas Observer

    In Washington, DC, Republicans are Writing the Recipe for a Smoldering Panhandle
    The Texas Observer
    A plan to increase the number of acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program but cut staff to enforce program rules spells trouble for the fire-prone region. by Christopher Collins @collins_reports. Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 8:41 am CST. Prescribed ...


    Hartford City News Times

    TU professional writing students published by American Christian Fiction Writers
    Hartford City News Times
    Four Taylor University students in the professional writing major have co-authored a piece published in the Spring 2018 edition of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Taylor students Aubree DeVisser, Olivia Lauritzen, Kenzie Nevins, and Rachel ...


    Edgy Labs (blog)

    Researchers Discover an Inexpensive way to Digitize Writing
    Edgy Labs (blog)
    Researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University developed a type of paper that could make digitize writing less expensive. Because digitizers like the Wacom Tablet are costly, a group of researchers came up with a way to make digitize writing and ...


    ECM Publishers

    West Metro Walkout students launch letter-writing campaign for gun reform
    ECM Publishers
    West Metro Walkout members hosted a letter writing and phone bank event April 20 at Lunds & Byerlys at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka. The event was after the day's school walkouts and Minnesota State Capitol rally that marked the 19th anniversary of ...

    and more »
    Google News

  • Memories Dont Fade Like Hair Does: Memoir Writing Help for You, Our Elders, to Tell Your Story

    ~~~Old age, to the unlearned, is winter; to the learned,... Read More

    10 Best Writers Who Ever Lived

    Compiling a list of the history's ten best writers is... Read More

    Friendly Critiques

    When a writer is working on their next literary masterpiece... Read More

    Essay Types and Modes Youll Need to Write for College

    ~TYPES~You Want Us to Write What? Understanding the Task AssignedWhich... Read More

    How I Became a Syndicated Columnist -- And You Can Too!

    Real Estate has "Location, location, location," and writing has "Clips,... Read More

    Balance Your Life

    Balance your life ... Read More

    Groundbreaking Work

    Every writer knows that the urge to write is not... Read More

    Get Creative In The Great Outdoors

    Summer's here and the time is write for dancing in... Read More

    Think Market!

    Griselda spent hours polishing up her resume. No detail was... Read More

    Make Your Mark Upon Humanity

    The greatest gift you have to give to yourself and... Read More

    Ten Ways to Get Cheap (and Free) Magazine Samples

    1 - Join a reading or writing group. Ask members... Read More

    Screenwriting, Screenplays, Screenwriters ? Incremental Productivity

    When attempting to understand Creativity and Innovation, it pays to... Read More

    Writing the KAIZEN Way

    Over the past eight years or so, I have tutored... Read More

    Under The Leaded Sky in Serbia by dr Mirjana Radovic

    When one population in one century survived five wars, two... Read More

    The Spectre Hound

    And a dreadful thing from the cliff did spring, and... Read More

    Passionate About Writing?

    I'm a writing fool! 2 book proposals, 1 user's guide,... Read More

    A Series of Articles on Autobiography

    ESSAYS ON AUTOBIOGRAPHY: NUMBER 1Preamble:Nearly seven years ago I wrote... Read More

    The Unwritten World Of The Reality Of Letterwriting

    You may wonder why I have chosen this title of... Read More

    Get Published: The Nuts and Bolts of English, and How to Impress a Publisher (2)

    The tiniest things can be so useful when you come... Read More

    Writing Dialogue That Make Your Characters Come Alive

    Characters in a good novel really carry the story along... Read More

    Top 7 Writers Sites for 2005

    If you dream of turning your book into a best... Read More

    How to Write a Holiday Tale that Isn?t a Turkey

    When we write stories, with the purpose of sharing them... Read More

    Writers Turn to the Internet for Support, Friendship and Advice

    Riding on the fumes of potential, you take pen to... Read More

    How To Write Your Way To A Fortune

    We've all seen those ads that grab our attention and... Read More

    Top 5 Rules of English Grammar

    Communication is effective when we follow certain rules. These rules... Read More