How to Get Something Published

By Penelope Lane

  • Overview

    Many people work hard to cultivate their creative writing skills and want to publish their finished material. With careful industry research, aspiring writers can get their high quality manuscripts published in a variety of markets. Here are a few helpful suggestions.
    How to Get Something Published
    • Step 1

      Know your market. Decide on a publishing outlet--such as book, magazine, newspaper or online media--and read everything you possibly can. Study articles, evaluate books, investigate authors, learn about editors and agents, recognize the targeted audience, spot trends and understand submission policies. Knowledge of the industry will not only give you a leg up on the competition, but make you a better writer.
    • Step 2

      Write well. Write, complete and polish a manuscript. Go to writing conferences and book events, take a writing class, join a critique group and revise your manuscript multiple times. High quality writing with a unique angle has the greatest chance of being published, and you will be proud of yourself when you finally see your work (and name) in print.


    • Step 3

      Query an editor or agent. Educate yourself on the desired publishing house, magazine, newspaper or literary agency. Follow all of the submission policies. Compose a captivating query letter that effectively represents your unpublished piece. Maintain professionalism, persevere and stay positive, as rejections are a part of the business. Utilize industry resources, such as "Writer's Digest Magazine," "Guide to Literary Agents" and "The Writer's Market," to help during the research process.
    • Step 4

      Rejoice upon acceptance. Whether you receive the good news via email, telephone or a snail mail, have a little celebration to honor your success. While many published writers cannot financially support themselves through their writing, being a writer can be a respected, challenging and personally satisfying occupation.
    • Step 5

      Work hard throughout the publication process. Maintain a positive, professional relationship with your editor or agent, and respond to edits/requests in a timely manner. Soon your hard work will pay off and your manuscript will be published.
    • Step 6

      Consider other publication options. If you are having difficulty getting something published and you firmly believe in your talent and manuscript quality, consider other venues for publication. Their are many small presses and new literary agents looking for fresh voices. Additionally, investigate web content writing, blogging or self-publication.
    • Skill: Moderately Challenging
    • Warning:
    • Read all contracts before signing, and use professional legal services if necessary.

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