This question came after I’ve posted an invite for friends to check out the campaign for the first anthology of works by Rambutan Literary.
The term ‘noobs’ caught my eye. It reminded me of how I started — which is a long not-so-fairy-tale-ish story.
So, let’s skip that story and go straight to my answers:
- Rambutan Literary (RL). I’ve sent two creative nonfiction works here for issues 1 and 5. I’ve worked with the designated editor for Roots – Maritime Southeast Asia (RL got both roots and branches!). Finding RL was, for me, a stroke of pure serendipity. I remember checking out this author — who also sent works for a local anthology — and clicking this clickable link to RL. And in proverbial fashion, the rest is history.
- Panitikan. This site is the melting pot of all official local/national invitations for contributors. A mix of everything. Nonfiction, poems, essays, opinions, reviews, fiction, etc. -– for all kinds of genre (spoken word, LGBTQQ, and more) in various languages.
- The Review Review. Another discovery. 😉 A bit like Panitikan, except this one’s international (U.S.) and may only include works written in English.
In addition to those links, I’ve thrown in some nuggets of gold that I’ve picked along the way:
- Hit ‘Like’ on Facebook (FB) pages. This will help you stay updated whenever they’re calling for papers or submissions. Even if you hit ‘like’ for just one page, you’re likely to see similar pages (great thanks to FB’s algorithms. haha). This worked for me twice. Once for the Folio: Cebu Literary Festival Poetry Folio Vol. 1 and another for New Reader Magazine for its first issue coming this March! FB is definitely a writer’s friend.
- Don’t skip the author bio. Writers often leave a short author bio at the end of their piece, right? Don’t skip them. Vanquish your curiosity by reading the bio. And click those links that they add so you can open up yourself to a whole new world of submissions, deadlines, edits. In one word: collaboration.
- Take instructions seriously. A lot of these collections have specifics about their target readers, guidelines, and themes. Use this information to strike a balance between experimenting and sending stuff that’s appropriate for the collection. Double checks and more, more checks will work wonders, I assure you.
- Lastly, patience. Some editors don’t reply until over a month. Sometimes, I’d even forgot that I’ve sent something. Hahaha. Some don’t reply at all. It won’t hurt to ask or email for updates.
Honestly, I haven’t really sent a lot lot. There are others who have been in the game way early than me. But when I look at my most recent pieces and then back at my old ones, and see how much I’ve changed as a writer, how much I’ve grown as a person, I can’t help but think that, ya, overall, it’s worth it.