The fourth month’s challenge, in which I decided to submit 30 stories in 30 days, was the most intense of all the challenges yet. I can now report the stats:
I submitted 21 pieces to journals of various types.
Also, I submitted my novel query to 11 agents.
One literary journal acceptance! Also: one agent request for a full of my manuscript.
Nine rejections, four with kind notes or invitations to resubmit. Twenty items from the challenge remain in submission, along with a dozen or more previous subs. The full of my manuscript was rejected after two weeks. However, the agent gave me some helpful advice and was quite cordial.
How do I feel? I feel like I’m getting somewhere.
I went back and read my entire #submissionschallenge thread. Seeing that I’ve gotten faster and stronger on submitting is really encouraging. Important learnings in the last four months:
1) Sources for markets: submittable, literistic, duotrope, and blogs which list magazines winning the Pushcart Prize such as this linked post at TheJohnFox.
3) Multiple submissions, yes. It’s okay, really. If a piece isn’t submitted to four markets, the process of submitting, for me, is not complete.
4) Editors and agents are real people and they love literature as much as you do. And yes, they are reading what you send them. Perhaps the best introduction you can give as a new writer is that you know of their work and respect it. I found this out by including what I appreciated about the literary magazines I was researching and by including details gleaned largely from @twitter in manuscript queries, particularly the #MSWL thread.