Eric’s Writing Blog

The writing blog of Eric Rosenfield

The Rules

with 2 comments

So, what do I look for in a magazine to submit work to? Well, usually I start with my list of fiction magazines worth reading (which is a little out-of-date now, as I’ve happily found more magazines). It’d be nice to think you would only submit to magazines you really liked and read every issue of, but I’ve talked about before how it’s simply impossible to read every issue of every high-quality literary magazine (or genre magazine for that matter), and there’s no way I could even keep up with just the magazines on my list of favorites every single month and still have time to read anything else. And even then, I’ve read it takes an average of 9 submissions for a single story to get published. This is why there’s a tendency among a lot of short story writers to submit works to magazines without ever reading them at all, but really you shouldn’t be doing this. You’re just clogging up the works with stories that might not be appropriate for the magazine. And think about it– the magazines you like to read really are the ones most likely to like what you write.

Back to my list of favorites. Some of them I eliminate right off the bat. For instance if they only accept print submissions, I just can’t be bothered to pay $4 in postage, not to mention the cost in ink and paper, for a publication that won’t pay me much or anything. We’re living in the 21st century, little magazines need to be accepting email submissions.

Then I usually start with magazines that accept simultaneous submissions. 9 rejections before it finds an acceptance, means that if you’re only sending to magazines that don’t accept simultaneous submissions, and each magazine takes three months to respond, that’s 21 months to publish a story. Almost two years. So yeah, simultaneous submissions. The one exception to this rule for me is Lone Star Stories ( ) which has responded to all my submissions so far within a day (!). With that kind of turn-around, yeah, I’ll give it to you exclusively.

The main list is thus winnowed down to: Weird Tales, A Public Space, McSweeneys, One Story, Farrago’s Wainscott, Tin House and Lone Star Stories. However, I currently have a story out to both A Public Space and McSweeneys and both of them have, for the third time, taken more than six months (!) to respond. So I’m not sending work to them again in the future.

So now the main list is: Weird Tales, One Story, Farrago’s Wainscott, Tin House and Lone Star Stories. Not a long list, but at least I can fully get behind each of these magazines and their practices towards their writers. And, while I’ll do simultaneous submissions, I won’t do multiple submissions because that’s just silly, so if I have stories out to (or rejected by) all those magazines I’ll move down a rung to magazines that don’t accept simultaneous submissions, which opens me up to Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, A Fly in Amber, Revolution SF and Ideomancer. Forgot about Clarkesworld which doesn’t mention if it accepts simultaneous submissions, but it only accepts stories under 4,000 words and I tend not to write that short so I haven’t thought about it. That’s a problem with Fantasy Magazine as well.

Next: Stories I’ve written and their status.


Written by ericrosenfield

April 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. if i didn’t know better, i’d have thought you penned the article below on jenks and company


    April 16, 2009 at 11:58 pm

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