- Do simultaneous submissions, but do them within a tier.
- This means you need a tier list with about 8-10 journals or magazines in each. The top tier is the journals you'd love to be published in... even if they're long shots. The odds of getting into The New Yorker with an unsolicited manuscript is low, but if you're going to submit, do it in your top tier. This might also include journals like the Atlantic or Glimmer Train, or Poetry or other big journals. Or whatever your dream publication credits would be.
- Then a mid-tier, and a third tier. He only went to three tiers, but you know me. I have five.
- It's important to do your simultaneous subs within each tier before bumping down to the next. You don't want to submit to Joe's Basement Literary Journal and, say, Narrative, and have Narrative accept after Joe's - you'll already be obligated to Joe's. So stick with one tier, and once (if) you've gotten 5 or 6 rejections in that one, move to the next tier.
- When a piece does get accepted, politely notify the other journals where your story or poem is still under consideration that you are withdrawing your piece. Most places don't mind simultaneous subs these days (or at least, grudgingly accept them, for writers' lives are short and reading periods are long), but we still need to be courteous.
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