AS AN EDITOR, I get bummed sometimes when I respond to a writer who has submitted good work (but maybe just not quite what we’re looking for), and then I never hear from them again. This tells me that they’re probably just starting out, and have gotten easily frustrated with a single rejection.
Similarly, as a writer I get bummed when my own stories get rejected, but I’ve found that it’s much easier to deal with if I know that I have several more (ideally, a dozen more) stories currently waiting for responses from editors.
The key to getting published–besides having tight stories and cultivating good networks of relationships with editors and publishers–is simply to have lots of pieces going out all the time.
In order to keep all of my submission organized, I use a submission log. Above is a screenshot of the one I use. I just created it in Google Spreadsheets. Basically the stories I’m submitting go across the columns, and then I can put various markets underneath in the rows beneath each story, noting them as submitted, accepted, or rejected. This is very handy for keeping pieces straight that I’ve simultaneously submitted to multiple markets.
You can get much more organized and detailed than this, doing things like adding dates and having more info available by each post.
Here is the submission log that Matador Goods editor Lola Akinmade uses:
This is essentially the opposite of mine: it puts a single story titles in each row and uses the columns to show the status of each one, including dates of submission and editor.
Any format is fine as long as it works for you.
How do you organize your submissions? Do you use a submission log? Let us know in the comments.
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