The Best Worst Advice When Submitting to Journals

1 - Photo

Photo by Kim Love.

Welcome to the beginning a new school year, which means deadlines, this thing called adulting, and late night trips to Panda when you want to get the kind of love that you deserve. Nothing says passionate love like a bowl of orange chicken. A fresh semester also means the gathering of a new staff here at the minnesota review. Of course, you may be wondering how to get the tips and tricks when submitting to a journal. If so then this post is not the post for you. This is for those who simply want to lay low under the writing radar. If you are in that category, take this list to heart. If followed, you will be a master at succeeding in not succeeding. Now who doesn’t want that?

First and Foremost, Don’t Submit

Don’t bother sending out the hard work you have toiled over when trying to find the perfect adjective describing your hatred for children. You can’t get rejected when you don’t submit. Let someone else get that publication. When they say chivalry is not dead, you can tell them about your good deed. Others don’t need that extra competition. You can’t get knocked down when you are already on the ground. You know that Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping song? That won’t be you.

If You Do Submit: Write a Novel

in your cover letter that is. Tell journals you wanted to become a professional bull rider at the age of fourteen, but then remembered you wanted to be a writer at the age of four, so you decided to stick with your original profession of choice. Tell them about how you lie awake at night debating on whether you should audition for The Bachelor. By telling them about your hopes and dreams, it’ll make the journal’s editors feel guilty for rejecting you. They simply can’t say no.

Clichés are BAE

Write about the stars and moon. Words like yearning and desire are A-okay. They are ever timeless. Begin a story about a character waking up and end with them going to bed. Sounds enticing, am I right? Love poems and death poems aren’t all that bad when speaking in the abstract. Everyone can somehow relate to it. That’s the beauty of the abstract. Keep them clichés coming.

Guidelines Schmidelines

You make the rules. Assertiveness is always a sexy quality in someone. If a journal asks for five poems, give them twenty. Make them fall in love with you. Name your submission document “You will love this” instead of putting it with your last name and genre like they asked of you. You’ll stand out amongst the rest, which is every writer’s goal.

Don’t Read Our Blog Posts

Who needs to read blog posts about exciting writers we all fangirl over and writing prompts when you are feeling stumped/at a lost of words? Reading book reviews and advice about MFA programs is just nonsense.

In all seriousness, our staff at the minnesota review is excited to compile our next issue. Our submissions are open from now and until November 1. We accept works of fiction and poetry. Don’t be a stranger. Send us that sonnet about Jurassic Park or your flash fiction piece about the homeless man going to a rave. Who knows, maybe you’ll have a spot between the covers of an issue next to those who share the same passion as you. This marks the end of my inner-cars-salesman monologue I promise.

As always, happy submitting! May the publishing odds be ever in your favor.


the minnesota review Team


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