5 Questions to Ask BEFORE Submitting Your Short Story

Have you ever toyed around with the idea of submitting your short story to a publication, but felt too overwhelmed or uncertain to actually send in your manuscript? Creating a strategy for myself based on the five questions below helped me prepare one of my short stories (which I’ll lovingly refer to by the alias of Fantasy Story #1) and ready myself for the submission process. First, I had to ask myself: I. Have I made my story the best it can be? The rest of this post continues under the assumption that you have already gone through the steps to thoroughly edit your short story. Whether you’ve hired a freelance editor, consulted with your beta readers, or participated in your critique group, make sure that you’ve got at least one other pair of eyes to look over your story. Even if the thought of having your work critiqued isn’t exactly fun, you’ll be thankful later on for the chance to improve your story before you start sending it out. When I was preparing Fantasy Story #1, I submitted my draft to a writer’s critique group that I had joined a few months prior after doing some self-editing to my manuscript. I received valuable feedback from around 6 other members of the group, which I then reconciled and used to improve my draft. Specifically, my critique group caught a plot hole that I was able to fix in my second round of editing. II. Have I created a solid organizational system? Before moving onto the next step and looking for markets to submit your work, I would recommend creating a system for recording details of the stories that you plan to submit and information on the publications you are interested in. I’ve experimented with a some submissions tracking software, but… read more →