Submission challenge, and a new editing service

My reading challenge is going so swimmingly well that I’ve decided to burden myself with a second task-a submission challenge.

Because, face it, I’m not going to get my work published unless I put on my big-girl pants, buckle down and face the daunting reality of multiple rejections hitting my email box on multiple days.

My challenge? Submit to five markets/magazines/contests each week.

“Only five?” you might think. But trust me, gearing up the confidence level five times each week is no small feat.

So how am I doing?

Today I submitted two flash essay pieces and contemplated sending off five poems, which I thought were finished but alas, a poem is never truly finished. Poems are like bellies. They expand and shrink, grow impatient when hungry, become lazy if you eat too much. And always they gnaw at you, a little at a time. They are, I think, a lot like love.

But, back to the (gulp) challenge. Twenty submissions a month comes to about 250 a year. Hopefully, a few of those publications will accept my humble essays, short stories, poems, chapbook manuscripts and flash fiction efforts. Hopefully. Because 250 rejections would be extremely hard to handle (think of all chocolate I’d need to make it through such a year).

And who knows. Maybe my stubborn refusal (stupidity??) to allow my work to languish on my computer files will prompt others take on similar challenges. Because no story, poem or book will ever be perfect. At some point, we need to let it go, send it out into the big, bad world of editors, assistant editors, slush pile readers, etc., for cruel analysis, and move on.

And just to make it more fun, I’ll be posting my rejections/acceptances as they come trickling in (I have two already, which I’ll update at the end of the week).

Exciting news! A new editing business: Guess what? Author Kevin Brennan (whom I highly esteem) has started an editing business, Indie-Scribable. Isn’t the name wicked clever?

Here’s more from his recent blogpost over at What the Hell:


Welcome to my shingle-hanging announcement, folks! As of today, I’m open for business as an editor of indie books destined for publication on Amazon et al.

I’m calling the operation Indie-Scribable. Indie for the indie part, and “scribable” for scribes. Clever, eh?

Come on over and have a look at my brand-spanking-new website.

I haven’t talked about it on the blog, but for most of my career I was an editor. I started at a medical publisher back in St. Louis, copyediting three or four different journals — such learned organs as Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and, my favorite, the Journal of Enterostomal Therapy! Oh joy.

Read the rest of Brennan’s post here.

More exciting news: I snagged an interview with book blogger and writer Julie Valerie, whom I admire so, so much. She’ll be dropping in for a bloggy visit later this week.

What I’m reading this week: Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen and, well, I don’t know what my second book will be yet but trust me, I have a huge stack waiting by my bed.

10 thoughts on “Submission challenge, and a new editing service

  1. I so admire you, Cinthia! I think five submissions a week is a fine target, if you can find five places to send your work. How do you search for them? I have a membership with Duotrope which I’ve used only scantily. Literistic was recommended to me, but that too I’ve only used scantily. Okay, maybe because I’m still at the stage of leaving my work to remain little nondescriptive icons on my desktop. You are so right that poems (or anything, short stories, etc.) can always be reworked, improved, made worse. Every time I select a poem to send out, I inevitably tweak it.

    I once read about a writer who spends the month of March submitting her work. Everyday day she submits something somewhere. Then she spends the rest of the year reeling in the rejections 😉 Still, that method has an appeal for me since it doesn’t require me to be on a schedule, except for one month.

    Good luck to you. I have full confidence that you’ll get acceptances 🙂 And that is great news about Kevin, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, yes, so great about Kevin. He’s really getting out there and making things happen. And still writing incredible books. How does he do it?
    As far as finding markets, I use New Pages, Yahoo Creative Writing Opportunities List and Poets & Writers Magazine classified section plus I read a lot (a lot) of literary magazines, which gives me an idea of where my work might fit. I tend to pick places that feel comfortable and gravitate toward the smaller and homey publications, not the “big” name lit magazines (I always think to myself: what pair of shoes would this magazine wear? If it’s running shoes or hiking boots, I send in my work. If it’s fashionable big-city style, I usually refrain, because that’s totally not me).
    Love the idea of submitting each day for a month. Might have to try that one (plus it would free up eleven months for nothing but writing).
    Good luck on your writing. And send out some of those poems and stories, okay?


  3. Good luck on your submission challenge, Cinthia. Love the analogy of which shoes they’d wear, great way to choose. My own goal is to submit my book to agents in April, so I’ll be joining you in the submission cycle this spring. 🙂


    1. You’re too busy running, lol. (Please don’t quit running to submit, okay?) Seriously, though, submitting doesn’t take that much time. I’m planning a post in the near future on easy and quick shortcuts. I think the hardest part is fighting the proverbial threat of rejection. (Running is so much easier, isn’t it? You run, and then you’re finished, and then you run again the next day, and then you’re finished. Why is writing so damned difficult?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The time involved in submissions is doing the research to find the places to submit to. 😉

        And, you’ve just described why, no matter how much my body might not appreciate running, it is the best form of exercise. So easy. Minimal equipment needed. Just open the door, step outside, and run. And you get outside.

        Writing … sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

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