Many aspiring writers believe they will publish their very first book and become a mega rich best-seller. “J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer did it,” they say. “And so can I!” But this is an unrealistic expectation. Their success is a one in a billion occurrence. (I don’t know the exact statistic.)
For the rest of us, we have to get there one step at a time by building our credentials, first. What are publishing credentials?
It’s your writing resume. Everything you’ve ever published makes up your credentials. The more you have, the better. And if you can get published by a magazines with large readerships like The New Yorker, that is even better!
Here is a list of 50 literary magazines: Top Literary Magazines
Agents always advise unpublished writers to get published in magazines, even by writing articles. And they say it as if it’s easy. I have yet to be published in a print magazine and it’s not for the lack of trying. My biggest problem was that magazine editors also look at previous credentials.
I asked myself all the time, in frustration, “How will I get published at all if magazines won’t even publish unpublished writers?”
What did I do?
I started small. First, I sent out poems and flash fiction to ezines. Ezines are magazines that are published online only. There are a ton of them out there looking for every kind of story. I received a lot of rejections, I won’t lie, but I was also able to publish several of my flash fiction stories.
FYI: Many of these don't pay, but don't let that stop you! Credentials are more important than money.
Aside from sending to magazines and ezines you can also send to anthologies. Anthologies are great because they are like magazines but are often sold as eBooks, too. Check out Spark Anthology
Check out Shannon Lawrence's blog The Warrior Muse for even more contest/submission opportunities.
TIP: You can also try your state and hometown newspapers. And write for newsletters of your writing groups/organizations.Freelance Writing Jobs is a great place to find people/businesses looking for freelance writers.
Building credentials is something that never ends for a writer, because even when you publish books or eBooks, each one is helping you, so start today! Aim higher with each publication and don’t stop.
QUESTION: How did you build your publishing credentials?