In this post, we are going to list a few approaches to simultaneous submissions – the submission of one piece to more than one literary magazine concurrently. Perhaps you have done your research and found more than one literary magazine to submit to. This is a good issue to have, however; not all editors of publications will accept a piece if it is being submitted elsewhere.
The best way to discover a publication’s policy on simultaneous submissions is to carefully read its submission guidelines. This step will help you decide if multiple submissions of one piece to a few publications is possible. Publications that do accept simultaneous submissions will present a few stipulations to prospective authors.
Such details from the editor of a publication is quite valuable. Though only a few lines are offered, and sometimes just a few words, these pieces of information are queues to a successful submission. Below we have taken from our own experience as writers and publishers to offer you a few strategies to navigate simultaneous submissions.
- Read the particulars of how a publication accepts simultaneous submissions.
For example: a publication open to simultaneous submissions will always want to be notified if your piece has been accepted by another publication. This is one of those details that states a condition to a publication’s acceptance of a piece submitted to other publications. Take note of these and any other details the publication mentions.
- Alert editors that you are submitting your piece to other magazines.
Your cover letter is a place for you to acknowledge your piece as a simultaneous submission. In your cover letter it is also a good idea to let the editor know that you intend to notify the publication if your piece is submitted elsewhere.
- Utilize tiers.Since each publication on the market functions on a different level than the next, the publications you have selected most likely fall into a tier. This may seem reminiscent of ranking colleges you wanted to apply to: the dream, the good fit, and the safety. Literary magazines do not stray too far from this idea. A dream publication – the magazine you would be thrilled to see your work published. Publications with strong reputations might be a good fit. Local, and regional publications, are a safe bet but not a guarantee, so do submit to more than one.
- Strategically submit your piece to a few publications.Although it is tempting to cast a wide net, submit a few copies to a few magazines within the same tier instead. Submit copies of your piece to a first round of publications, your dream magazines. If the response time for a publication has passed without notification and your piece has not been accepted, contact the next tier of publication with your piece.
- Contact the editor when your piece is accepted for publication elsewhere.This step is crucial. It is necessary to contact all publications you submitted your piece to. Missing this one can be problematic for the publisher and harmful to your reputation as a writer.
Simultaneous submissions can be an awkward aspect of submitting work. Initially, sending out copies of a work to one group of publications, waiting, and starting another round may seem like a lot of hassle. Many writers feel it is good practice to circulate their work and to take advantage of the opportunities available to get his or her work read. We outlined the steps above to alleviate some of the confusion surrounding the practice of simultaneous submissions. Best of luck!
Next week: cover letters.