Pitching and Moaning: A Guide to Submitting Your Writing

How to get a story or essay published if you’re not James Franco.

In Publish or Perish, Tony Tulathimutte dispenses subjective, unsolicited, and frankly sort of aggro advice on the practical aspects of a building a writing career.

If you’re reading this it’s too late: You’ve already read my last article about the different types of creative writing career paths. Now we’ll talk about submitting and pitching creative writing and freelance articles to journals, magazines, websites, contests, MFA programs, residencies, fellowships, and the dumpster. You’re about to get hit with a big damp sack of rules, cover letter templates, submissions resources, and gate-keeping arcana, but for starters, the two overarching rules of submitting your work are: Always follow the submissions guidelines, and don’t try to “stand out” in any of your submission materials, aside from the manuscript.

This will hurt.

It’s Called “Submission” for a Reason

As everyone knows, the most surefire way to get a story published is to be James Franco. If you are not him or his adorable underrated brother, then you should start by reading Lincoln Michel’s “The Ultimate Guide to Getting Published in a Literary Magazine,” which is 169 percent facts. As usual I’ve got more to add (more like penultimate guide hurk hurk):...more