Submit! You Must Submit!

Every now and then, writers need the crack of a whip to bring them in line.

Bettie Page by Olivia

Just to be clear, this isn't the kind of 'submitting' that I'm talking about. Bettie Page by Olivia.

For me, it’s a deadline. I thrive on deadlines. Part of that comes from my day job as a copywriter, where everything is on a timeline. But I also know I’m a world-class procrastinator and will use any excuse to play one more round of Angry Birds. So to stay on task, I need to give myself a deadline.

This year, I’ve challenged myself to write and submit stories on a regular basis. I needed an excuse to write multiple stories this year. And while the Confabulator Cafe has afforded me some opportunities for confabulation, I wanted to do more.

Because I need regular deadlines, I checked Duotrope for publications looking for submissions and discovered anthologies of all shapes and sizes looking for new stories. The downside to choosing an anthology is they are often very specific in what they want. I don’t have a huge backlog of unpublished stories, so that means writing specifically for each anthology.

So far, it’s working. In 2012, I’ve written and submitted three short stories for three different anthologies. For the record, I received two passes already. But I have high hopes for the third one.  In addition, I scoped out three or four others that are accepting submissions this summer.

Does this make good business sense? Absolutely not. But I’m not doing it to get rich. I’m doing it for the practice of writing stories. Right now, I’m holding on to the stories that publishers have passed on. Although they were specifically for anthologies, they could be re-worked for magazines or other anthologies.

For now, I’m focused on writing the next story. And deciding where to submit next.

Kevin Wohler is a copywriter and novelist living in Lawrence, Kansas. During the day, he works at a digital marketing agency in the Kansas City area. When time remains, he likes to tell stories of the weird and bizarre. And sometimes, he writes them down for others to read.

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