Monday, April 25, 2016

The Next Step: Build the CV with Publications

There is no steadfast rule for a writer of short stories. I mean, write one, ten, or a hundred of them and then take stock in what you have. In a way, I think it's probably easier to have one short story and make it a really good one and then try your luck at publication. There are many magazines that do not mind a simultaneous submission. So, take that one story and submit it to 20 different publications and see what happens. This is one tactic. The best outcome with this, of course, is that each and everyone of the magazines except the last one reject the story; this way you do not have to write each magazine to tell them that your story was accepted by the first magazine.

Having ten short stories in your arsenal, while a seemingly daunting task, may be easier to balance. You can submit one story to one magazine (or two) at a time, and get as much work out there as possible. After all, this discussion has been about building a CV. Send out all of the stories, and hope for the best. If you send out ten stories to twenty magazines, you're sure to get one publication.

What happens if you have more than one or ten short stories?

At my on request, I took stock of all the short stories I have on my desktop. What I found astonished me. I found just under 200 short stories. 200. What can you do with that? Of course, I cannot simply state on a CV that I've written 200 short stories, nobody cares. As I looked through files, I instantly discounted the 100 short stories that I wrote between 1986 and 2006. They're cool, but not worthy of any readership outside of me, the writer, and I don't really care to read them.

Of the 100 short stories I've written in the last ten years, I would think about a quarter of them I would not be ashamed to share. That said, I found 25 short stories that I want to add to my CV.

So what now?

Hopefully, you took a look at,, and These are by no means an exhaustive list. But, I think anyone trying to build a CV, or at least trying to build a publication portfolio, these are a good start. Also, there are many avenues for a writer and prospective publications. I chose to focus on the online literary magazine for a few reasons. First, it's the business I'm in with my magazine, Umbrella Factory Magazine. Also, the online magazine is the future of independent presses and they are free to explore new writers and new ideas.

If you have one story, ten, or in my case, 25, the time has come. These are my considerations:

First, do your research. When you look at a magazine, wherever you find it, be engaging. Subscribe to that magazine, read that magazine, study the masthead, the submission guidelines and the history of the magazine. This way you can match a short story to it.

Second, send out the best story possible. This is not new advice. Read you piece again and again and have someone you trust do it too. This way, you'll avoid the embarrassment for yourself and an editor. An editor of a magazine is not going to edit your story for you. You must send a picture perfect copy. And should you do this and it gets rejected, rework your story and send it out to someone else.

Third, write a third person bio. Keep this bio to the minimum. Your bio should not exceed 50 words. This is what you should add: previous publications (keep this to a maximum of 3), any awards, education and applicable job title. For instance here's mine:

Anthony ILacqua is the author of two novels: Dysphoric Notions and Undertakers of Rain (Ring of Fire Publishing). He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Umbrella Factory Magazine. Meet him at his blog:

My bio is 33 words. I stuck with two publications, I mentioned my work at my magazine and a place where someone can learn more about me.

Last, keep good notes. Remember where you sent something and when. You should have a spread sheet of your stories and include the history of them. When you start a submittible account, submittible will do this for you, but not everyone uses this service.

Good luck, and happy submitting.

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