Tuesday Tips is a new category of posts here at Writerly Life that will be appearing every Tuesday. It’s a series of concrete tips for improving or kickstarting your writing. The tips that fall into this category are the sorts that you can do today or even right now, and they’re chosen to immediately re-vitalize your writing in some small (but meaningful!) way.
This week’s tip is:
Read a literary magazine cover to cover
If you’re on the publishing trail, as many fledgling (or veteran) writers are, you’ve spent at least some time sending stories or poems out to literary magazines. You’ve probably pored over your Writer’s Market or the online lit mag databases. And you’ve done your fair share of submitting blindly as well, sending hopeful stories out to magazines you just haven’t read. After all, who has the time or the money to subscribe to and read them all? There are so many good literary magazines out there, and we’d be honored to have our work appear in them, but we just don’t read them enough.
The fact remains, though, that we’ll have a much better chance of getting published in these magazines if we actually take the time to read some of them. We can get to know the style and voice of a magazine, understand what they’re looking for, and send out stories more intelligently. On top of that, magazines are meant to be read, and there are some amazing stories out there just waiting to be discovered. So this week, pick up just one magazine, sit down, and read it thoughtfully, the way you would a novel. Appreciate the stories that have been collected there. You’ll enjoy yourself — and learn more about where your story fits in the publishing world.