Markets & Submissions Workshop
What do we mean when we talk about “markets?”
In the same manner anyone in business defines the market they cater to – whether through the products they sell or the services they offer – a writer can also define who their “customer” is depending upon what expectations they have for the outcome of their submission.
The target market for writers is readers but THAT is a very general, extremely broad category. As you go about your writing journey you will find yourself traveling familiar roads as you hone not only your skills but your direction – through creative exploration you will eventually discover where you fit into the writer’s market.
- · Take a look at your writing
- · Take a look at the types of media that publish your type of writing
- · Research markets that are searching for new work
- · Read and review the guidelines to ensure your work “fits” the criteria
- · Be ready to adjust your work if you are set on sending to a particular market
- · Keep looking – something might come along that fit that work you’ve been dying to submit
Essentially, this is your work prepared and ready to send to a prospective publisher having met all the requirements based on the guidelines for that particular publisher. Every contest, every publication, every – magazine, newspaper, book publisher – seeking work will set their own rules or guidelines that more or less follow manuscript form and standard submission’s formatting. You must take each request seriously if you desire any chance of being considered for publication – as an emerging writer you need to learn; as an established writer you can be selective.
To determine submission requirements, you must:
- · Take a look at the work / publications a publisher of interest puts out there
- · Take a look at their market – does your work suit it?
- · Research others similar
- · Read and review all the guidelines to ensure your work is submitted as required/ requested
- · Be ready to adjust to work if requested
- · IMPORTANT: rejection letters are part of the process for every writer submitting work – even the most successful authors can tell the story of being rejected.
The workshop was well received and involved eleven of our writing group members. Everyone was eager to share their information and input was valuable as a learning resource for everyone in attendance. It just goes to show you that you can learn something in every opportunity – stay open to the possibilities and knowledge will come to you.
A general workshop outline defining “markets” and “submissions” plus other printed materials were handed out; copies “markets” (Canadian, Children, Novel & Short Story) books were displayed with a couple of them being checked out from the library by members; Writer’s Magazine past issue copies were available for use; our newsletter was provided for display and reference purposes. Samples of various magazines and web site contests and guidelines were brought by several members for shared reference and to provide contact information.
The evening’s discussion shared information on what is a market, writing submission requirements, definitions and explanation of common writing, publishing, and industry guideline components. There was wonderful round table interaction with the content of the presentation creating valuable take home reference, answers to questions, and food for thought. The size of the group was just right, allowing for sufficient input and time for questions and an open, honest dialogue. Members shared experiences, publication credits, and resources and links that everyone could research, review and possibly utilize in the future with their own writing.
Some members who could not attend indicated that they felt their writing was not ready for submission to any market. It must be acknowledged that everyone is at a different stage and finding comfort and satisfaction with your work is one of the stages of the writing journey. Emerging writers take heart – even seasoned, published, experienced writers have to prepare their work, research their markets, and follow strict guidelines when they submit their writing – it just might get easier the more you do it. One of the biggest assets of working with a writer’s group such as ours is the encouragement and sharing that embodies who we are and who we have become over the years. There exists an underlying code that everyone’s work is an important and vital part of who they are as a writer.
The submission process is full of expectations – not all good – but the writing life includes “putting it out there” if being published is one of your goals. Not everyone desires that final public product because their writing is very personal, for their own use, or just something they enjoy doing. Each writer has to determine where they want their writing journey to go; it is something that requires constant attention; and you can never stop learning.