On Delicious, I continue adding to my lengthy list of all types of publications that include creative writing in their pages. The list is a good resource for writers who would like to accumulate publication credits. The last time I counted, it included more than 4,000 sites. Most writers are aware of relatively few of them, just as they’re unmindful of how many creative writers are competing to be published. It seems to me this is the hidden source of immense frustration: an unrealistic or uninformed perspective, easily rectified.
I appreciate the fact that technology has permitted writers to connect directly with readers without first obtaining the approval of literary tastemakers. The big picture (which I should refer to as the market), inclusive of all readers, is far beyond the scope of what interests me personally. Occasionally, I encounter a writer whose work is likely to meet with commercial success, although it isn’t work I would want to endorse. When it comes to selecting writers to represent, my criteria are miles apart from other literary agents.
Naturally then, the literary publications I find appealing will amount to a tiny subset of what’s available. More than ever, there’s something out there for everyone—readers and writers. To each his own.
One way for authors to attract a little extra attention is by writing articles, reviews, or blogposts for any of the established or up-and-coming online magazines devoted to literature and pop culture. Some of the sites have much larger readerships than an individual’s blog typically can attract.
Of course, money is always nice, but if a writer needs exposure as much as or more than payment, then the opportunity for publicity alone might be worth the effort involved in writing a short piece. Most readers won’t know whether the author was compensated for an article, so the quality of the contribution should always match the writer’s reputation or aspirations. At the same time, the author probably should think of the endeavor as volunteer work for a worthy cause, not an avenue to a paying gig.
To capitalize on the exposure each time their work is published, writers learn to compose effective contributor bios including their web addresses. Readers won’t take the time to search for information about an unfamiliar author unless prompted with a URL.
Quite a few literary websites are calling for contributors these days. A few are listed: