Expanding your writing portfolio: Resources for submitting to E-zine and online periodicals

As I creep ever closer to finishing my first novel, I have a concern lurking on the periphery of my writer’s brain: my resume.  I’ve read in a number of places that as I try to get my foot in the door to an agent and then a publisher, one thing that could go a long way to convincing these fine people of my worthiness is to have a demonstrable writing history.  Now, I do have some things in my kit, but I’m always on the lookout for ways to expand my portfolio. 

To that end, I’ve decided that in my spare time (we all have so much of that, don’t we?) I’m going to start submitting some of my short stories to some online and traditional literary publications.  It seemed like a no-brainer kind of decision.  After all, it can only look good if I have on my writer’s resume that I was published in a reputable regional or even national magazine, right?

So I’ve been researching potential candidates.  The problem I’ve run into frequently is that a lot of periodicals that have historically accepted submissions from authors have shut down, victims of a changing online and print market place.  So I thought I’d share some of the still viable options here, to maybe save my fellow writers some time.  Here they are in no particular order:

The rest of the article can be found here…

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To be honest, even the crappiest (apparently word of the day) book should be getting requests because a good query, like a good car salesman, can sell anything. If you aren’t getting any requests on 20 queries (that means at least one request for every 20 queries you send), you need to rewrite your query. It’s not working.

Jessica Faust, literary agent (BookEnds), in reference to an author who received 120 rejections on query alone (not one agent requested a partial). (via oliveryeh)

Another evolution…check out The Weathered Journal

Since launching it in the fall of 2010, I’ve allowed Sojourner Mountain to evolve a bit.  In all honesty, I didn’t have a plan for it other than wanting it to be 1) a place to inspire creative writing and photography, and 2) a place I could showcase my own writing.  On the second point, I specifically wanted to document my own journey towards publication.

Since then, however, I’ve been learning a lot from the writing community that I had started connecting with through blogging and through Twitter.  I decided that I was trying to do too much with Sojourner Mountain, and so I needed to evolve it further still.  The original goal is still the same: to provide inspiration and resources to my fellow aspiring writers, but the creative writing blog will now be a lot cleaner. 

So that meant I needed to find a home for my personal writing.  So since I had to create a new online home anyway, why not find a blogging platform that was better suited to me? Ultimately I found WordPress to be the best fit, and so The Weathered Journal is now home.

So please check out The Weathered Journal and leave comments!  I’ll still be keeping Sojourner Mountain up to date too, so I’d love some submits and comments on it as well.

Thanks so much for your support.

Like most aspiring authors, I’m enamored with the idea of getting my cherished first novel picked up by a major publisher and seeing it on the shelves of Barnes and Nobel (I’d have said Borders too, but…you know).  But the obstacles standing between the never-published author and the big time are legendary, and the odds of making it from concept to the shelves are discouraging to say the least. Which is why self-publishing is such an attractive alternative. Early on after deciding to devote myself to becoming an author I started exploring this option.  And while I’ve learned a lot, what makes self-publishing especially appealing of late is the many talented, passionate writers I’ve met that have used this to get their books out.  True, there is an undeniable credibility that comes with traditional publishing, and I seriously doubt that there is a self published author out that wouldn’t leap at the chance to ascend into the ranks of Harper Collins or Random House.  But self publishing has its definite advantages, and with the eBook market expanding at a dizzying rate, this option is becoming increasingly alluring to me.  So while there seem to be purists of both methods, I would hazard the guess that most who aspire towards publication are working towards both options. And in the course of sifting through the various tools to help me get to the grand prize, I’ve unearthed some pretty cool tools that can help regardless of how you might decide to finally commit. (Follow link for the rest of the article.  The site is my new personal author’s page).

A Beginner’s Guide to Self Publishing and Traditional Publishing Resources

Visual Writing Prompt 37 Skimming the clouds . This photo suggests a more specific kind of writing than most of the visual writing prompts. Taken from the belly of an MH-53 Air Force special operation helicopter, the peaceful scene before this gunner belays the conflict on the ground.  This could be an interesting short story.

By the way, this picture is the one I’m most proud of in my entire collection.  I love it.

Visual Writing Prompt 35 Life in the Desolation. A familiar truism is that life is fragile.  While that certainly seems to often be the case, it is also true that, paradoxically, life is resilient.  Take the trees and shrubs of the desert as a great example.  In this arid wilderness, they have all they need to survive.  Humans too are usually tougher than we give them credit for.  Tell a story (short or flash fiction) of survival.