I’ve been asked several times how I manage to get my poems published. Obviously, there’s no one set path to publication, but here’s my favorite tool:
What is Submittable? Submittable.com is my number one publishing resource. It’s a beautiful, magical place every writer interested in publication needs to be using.
Okay, but really, Submittable is an extremely useful tool. With Submittable, you can search and submit your work to thousands of literary journals, magazines, and publishers. From poetry, to short fiction, to full-length manuscripts, and so much more, you can find a home for your work by searching Submittable.
You can also use filters to find exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t want submission fees? Filter out publications charging fees. Don’t want deadlines? Filter out publications with deadlines. Want to view poetry publications only? Filter everything else out.
It’s easy to use, and best of all, Submittable is free for writers. Not only can you use it to find publications to submit to, but you can keep track of all your submissions and their status. If you’re impatient like me, using Submittable to see submission statuses takes away some of the pain of waiting for an acceptance or rejection.
Your submissions will appear as “Received,” “In-Progress,” “Accepted,” “Rejected,” or occasionally, “Editable,” which generally appears when a publication is interested in your work, but feels that it needs some polishing before they accept.
I love using Submittable to keep track of all my submissions, especially because I often submit the same work to multiple publications (this is called a simultaneous submission). If I receive an acceptance at one publication, it’s convenient to use Submittable to find where else I submitted that work, so I can withdraw it and avoid the potentially awkward situation of multiple acceptances for the same work.
Okay, But How Does Submittable Help Me Get Published?
Submittable takes away a lot of the guess work that comes with publishing. With submission guidelines right in front of you, it becomes far more simple to determine whether or not your work will be a good fit for a publication, versus just Googling places to submit to or buying random copies of magazines you’ve never heard of, which is like throwing a dart with a blindfold on.
Submittable helps you do your research while also keeping your research time to a minimum, after all, who wants to spend all their time researching instead of writing?
Now, with all that being said, using Submittable doesn’t guarantee publication, it only makes the process easier by helping you find publications to submit to and helping you keep track of your submissions. Take a look at the acceptance rates of some of the most prestigious and respected literary journals:
- New England Review (0.18 %)
- Salt Hill (0.28 %)
- Poetry Magazine (0.29 %)
- jubilat (0.30 %)
- Ploughshares (0.31 %)
- The Southeast Review (0.32 %)
- Sixth Finch (0.34 %)
- Rattle (0.38 %)
- Guernica (0.38 %)
- Boston Review (0.40 %)
- Plume Poetry (0.43 %)
- Poetry Northwest (0.44 %)
- The American Poetry Review (0.49 %)
- AGNI (0.50 %)
You have a better shot at getting accepted to Harvard (5.2%) than being published in New England Review. Insane, right?
Simply using Submittable doesn’t mean you’re going to get published. Your talent is what will get you published. Submittable helps you find the publications who will be interested in your talent.
What About Duotrope?
Like Submittable, Duotrope is a submission tracker and holds a database of publications you can submit to. Duotrope goes more in depth compared to Submittable, as it tracks acceptance and rejection rates, response times, and collects more information about the type of work a publication is most likely to accept. Submittable doesn’t offer any of these things.
Duotrope is definitely a useful tool, but unlike Submittable, it costs money. Some writers find a subscription to Duotrope is worth it, as it helps them tailor their submissions to a specific publication better than Submittable can.
Whether you decide to subscribe to Duotrope or not, you’re still going to use Submittable to actually submit your work, as the majority of publications only accept work through Submittable.
Duotrope and Submittable have their own purposes. Submittable is primarily a submission system, while Duotrope is primarily a submission tracker. I think Submittable’s basic submission tracker works just fine for my needs, but some writers prefer Duotrope’s more detailed tracker.
It doesn’t hurt to try both! Duotrope offers a 7-day free trial, so go ahead and try it out!
What else should writers know about Submittable? Let me know! Thanks for reading.