Submission blitz

Yesterday, I had a kid home sick.

Actually, yesterday, the day before, AND today, I had a kid home sick.

The first day, I got writing done. This was pretty amazing because I usually have problems writing when someone is in the house with me. Just the sound of breathing or a page turning in a magazine is enough to snap me out of FLOW and distract me. I can usually manage to do some editing with people around, but not writing. The fact that I actually wrote a first draft with a little cutie around on Tuesday blew me away.

Yesterday, though, it wasn’t happening. (The kid home on Tuesday left me alone. The kid home yesterday and today is the type who wants snuggles and a chat when sick.) But I really, really wanted to get work done. I had a pitch all typed up that just needed a few tweaks, so I made the tweaks and then submitted it to the editor.

When I recorded my submission into my submission log, I noticed something: there were a few pieces I’d submitted a while back that hadn’t gotten accepted. Quite a few. I marked them all on my log, then looked at them one at a time. One needed a little adjustment.

And then I remembered that I had missed a submission date for a contest a few weeks back, but that the piece had been pretty good.

I started pulling up publishers’ submission pages from a file containing bookmarks for such things. I looked back through my records to make sure I didn’t submit anything to a place I’d already sent it to.

I had to write some cover letters, and to set up an account for an online submission service that was a whole heck of a lot less user-friendly than Submittable. But the pieces got sent out.

I hardly did any writing yesterday, but I feel the day was well-spent.

Today, I have gotten less done. My kids got me sick.

You win some, you lose some.


5 thoughts on “Submission blitz

    • You make a table – in Word or in Excel – and then you make columns with the name of the piece you submitted and it’s type if it’s unclear. For example, write “Essay, ‘Behind the Wheel’.” You put a column for “Submitted to” and make sure you are clear whether this is a website, a business, a magazine. You put a column “Date Submitted.” Indicate whether this is a unsolicited submission or solicited. You might want to put whether you’re supposed to check back after 3 weeks or 3 months or whatever. Leave a box for a Y or N to show whether it got accepted. Indicate the expected fee and publication date. Indicate whether you invoiced and received payment. (I recommend you format the page in landscape, not portrait. That way you can fit all the columns.)

      You can print this out, which is what I do, and then you keep it on a clipboard and fill it out by hand as you send things out. What is probably smarter (because then you can search it automatically) is putting it in an online spreadsheet, like Excel or maybe a Google doc table. That way, if you have sent a story out 3 times before, you can search the text to learn when and where those submissions went out.

      It’s really important to do this, by the way, if you want to ensure you get paid, and paid accurate and promptly. It’s hard to keep track of sending out invoices and the like and follow up on them if you don’t keep good records.There are other ways to keep records, like just keeping a running list in a notebook, but I like this best.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hope you feel better soon. It occurs to me that a submission log is a great idea for people who are job hunting (which is kind of what you’re doing, but I mean in a more traditional sense).

    Liked by 1 person

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