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Reading for a literary journal

How wading through someone else’s slush pile can improve your own chances at publication.

Reading Literary Journal Submissions

Sending your work to a literary magazine or online journal for consideration is not for the fainthearted. The outcome can feel as random as a coin toss: Heads you’re accepted for publication, tails you’re not. 

When you’re on a submissions streak, optimism fuels every story and cover letter, but that high wears off once the rejections roll in. In theory, you’re not supposed to take it personally. In reality, you do. You ruminate, agonize, second-guess. Was that opening too weak? Did I miss by a comma or by a mile? The standard response provides few clues. You’re left wondering: What do “they” want? Why didn’t my piece make the cut? 

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