How to Submit Your Work to Literary Journals

Initially, submitting your work to a literary journal can seem daunting. Never mind the apprehension attached to the idea of putting your work out there; navigating the requirements of each journal can inspire a little anxiety as well. In this post, Limping Devil Press will help clear away some of the fog and demystify the submission process. Below are a few steps you can take to successfully manage the submission process.


A good first step is to take some time to research the world of literary journals. There are hundreds of journals in production today. Each has their own point of view, style, and voice. It is important to know what is available to you as a writer. The Poets & Writers maintains a database on their website. New Pages also maintains a list of literary journals. Utilize these resources and begin to compile a list of potential submission candidates. Once you have a few journals in mind, read the current issues of the publications that interest you. This will help you to determine the If you think your work has a place in that journal the next step is to look at the publication’s submission guidelines.

Submission Guidelines

Each literary journal has its own Submission Guidelines. Make note of deadlines, word limits, and genres the editor, or editors, are looking for. Some journals designate an editor to receives specific genres or forms of writing. If a journal’s submission guidelines are unavailable, contact the editor to inquire after the submission policy. Books and other literary publications can be good sources for finding publications to submit your work, however; visit the website or contact the editor of the publication to verify their submission guidelines since publications can go out of date. If guidelines are not readily available, do not assume a publication does not have any.


The next step is to proofread your work. Ensure you are sending the right version of your piece. A cover letter usually accompanies a submission. The cover letter should serve as a brief introduction of yourself and where you have published. Include a brief bio of yourself in the cover letter. It is fine if you have not published anywhere yet, unless the publication states otherwise. Writers will often submit a piece to several publications. Making simultaneous submissions to journals is frowned upon by some publications and accepted by others. A publication usually posts this in their submission guidelines.

These are the basics steps of submitting your work online. The only thing left is to wait and see if your work will be accepted. Many editors of literary journals are busy. Many publications maintain a small staff and many editors are unable to respond to each submission he or she receives. It can also take some time. Depending on the reading period, it can take six months to find out if a piece has been accepted for publication. This can be a bit rough, but you are not alone; many writers have to go through this same process. After a few submissions, you will become a pro.

Now that you know what to do, try it out for yourself. Good luck!


Poets & Writer –

New Pages –


One thought on “How to Submit Your Work to Literary Journals

  1. Pingback: How to Submit Your Work to Literary Magazines : Step One – Research |

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