Is Publishing in Literary Journals Worthwhile?

Yesterday I submitted work to four journals: Word Riot, theNewerYork, Contrary, and Rivet. Submitting work takes time, especially when you’re first starting out. You have to find journals that might like your writing, which means conducting research (there are 4,941 markets listed in Duotrope, an online database and submission tracker service). Then choose, polish, and edit your piece; format your piece in such a way that it meets that particular journal’s requirements; write a cover letter; enter your credit card information (for contests, etc.); submit and track your submission. Rinse and repeat.

The truth is that comparatively few people in the general population read literary magazines, especially printed ones, most literary journals don’t pay anything, and most work that is submitted gets rejected. So why do I bother trying?

Is getting published in these journals about my ego, or is it about connecting with potential readers and fellow writers? Read More »