• Emily Lackey
  • The Art of Submission: Where to Submit in the Summer
The Art of Submission: Where to Submit in the Summer
Written by
Emily Lackey
June 2015
Written by
Emily Lackey
June 2015

It's almost summer, which means it's time to take vacations and go for long walks and write outside and . . . stop submitting?

That is what you might be thinking If you were anywhere near Twitter at the beginning of this month, a witness to journals everywhere sounding their dinner bells and declaring their last calls. Typically, on June 1st, many journals close their submissions for the summer. This is because most literary journals are in some way affiliated with academic institutions, so when the student readers leave for the summer, so do the editorial staff members. Which means on June 1st of this year, the Submittable newsfeed was the most depressing thing ever. It was one long totem pole of frantic retweets from journals urging everyone to SUBMIT TONIGHT because LAST CHANCE and CLOSING TOMORROW.


Last summer was my first summer submitting to journals, and, I’m not going to lie, the process was a little rough. I kept submissions moving (kinda), but definitely slowed down. I remember one night I spent three hours trying to send a story to five places. I kept clicking on websites, on writing guidelines, on mastheads, only to discover that sorry, no, we’re not accepting submissions until September.


But before you get discouraged or spend three hours looking for a place to send a single story, take heart. There are many places still open and accepting submissions. You just have to find them.


Lucky for you, I spent the last two weekends compiling a (very rough) submission wish list. Keep in mind: I haven’t whittled this down to places I actually want to submit yet, just threw every journal from every list I could find onto it and arranged it by reading period until I can attack it with a little more discretion and taste. But if the list proves anything, it’s that even though the dropoff of reading periods in the summer months is considerable—my October wish list is seventy-two journals long, for instance, where my July wish list is thirty—there are still MANY places to submit to. Way more than I thought there would be.


And in case you don’t like my list (and I wouldn’t blame you: it is crazy ambitious, seeing as though I haven’t added in any of the online or smaller journals that I love), there’s also this list that a friend sent to me yesterday.


So the point is this: Don’t let the summer slow down your submitting game. Keep that work flowing and take the opportunity to submit to journals lower down on your list or investigate new ones to add to it. 

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  • Thanks, Emily! This is great information to keep us motivated to submit during the summer.

  • Claudia B. Manley

    Combining this with your previous post about Creating a Submission Wish List, I feel a bit more in control and ready to submit with confidence.  Thanks for doing all this groundwork!

  • Thanks!!

  • Carol D. Marsh

    It's just wonderful of you to go to all the trouble of this research, then post it so we don't have to put in the time and energy. Thank you so much!

  • Emily Lackey

    I'm glad this is helpful for so many of you! Feel free to add to the list with journals you know are open in the summer and love. We writers need all the help we can get!

  • Thea Constantine

    This is awesome! Thank you, I love that you're sharing this with us. I truly believe if we support each other--we'll succeed together.

  • Susan Brandt

    Fantastic list. Thanks for sharing. May your generous attitude come back to you tenfold.  I'm just beginning the submission process and find your list a valuable resource.

  • Mardith Louisell

    Love it. Thanks.   Isn't it awful how long it takes to submit even to just one "little" magazine. Read it figure out who the editors are, get the right names, figure out if your story fits, do the right formatting, remove your  name or put it on every page, etc. It's terrifying!

  • Rita Gardner

    Thanks! Very helpful. I subscribe to Poets & Writers and also have them online. They list a lot of submissions too - so there's certainly no shortage of journals and other places to submit.

  • Emily, Thanks for sharing the list. I'm familiar with some of the items on it, but not with many others.  In general, I've found the Poets & Writers (www.pw.org) lists useful. I'm starting to compile a list and hope to organize it by year's end. Will share whatever info. I have gathered by then.

  • Diana Gittins

    Thank you for this - it's really useful. I have just begun to submit personal essays to the USA from the UK and this is a real gift!

  • Catherine Curan

    Thanks for the encouragement and the very useful list! Why not be ambitious? It's always good to aim high. :)

    Please also consider Anderbo.com, which reads year-round and is also running a no-fee short story contest with a $500 prize. The contest deadline is October 15th, 2015. Full disclosure, I volunteer with Anderbo as Associate Publisher.

  • Thanks for passing on all of the useful research, Emily! Very, very helpful.

  • Thanks so much for posting this! What a thorough and, yes, ambitious list!

  • Barbara Fischkin

    Emily, thank you so much for this. So much work! But so appreciated.

  • Nancy Nau Sullivan

    Thanks so much for this list....This is writers helping writers. That's why I love you, she writes!