Lit Journals

Market Spotlight: Ilanot Review

In 2017, I had written a story in epistolary form as part of a prompt. Once I’d revised it to my satisfaction, I searched for markets and came across Ilanot Review, a journal from Israel!

Their call for submissions mentioned a ‘Letters’ theme for their upcoming issue. It excited me to find a market that looked a perfect fit, but to be sure I scouted their archives and read a few of the stories and essays available online.

After due diligence, I submitted my story ‘Perils in the Post’. I was quite excited about this story, because it was my first story in letters and also my first story not based in the modern era.

The acceptance mail arrived quite quickly, within a week. I went back-and-forth for edits with the editors as usual. After a few days, things were all set and ready to go. The changes had greatly improved my story, and three months later the issue was published online. You can read my story here.

This is not a paying journal. The quality of stories is quite good and enjoyable.

Fortunately, their submissions window is currently open, until 15th December for their winter issue themed ‘Home/Work’. If you have anything that suits the theme, be sure to send it across right away!

Lit Journals, Writing

Market Spotlight: The Writer

The Writer is one of the oldest, most venerated magazines for writers in the world. It was started in 1887 and continues to churn out issues packed with so much useful information that you could never cover in one sitting.

They host several contests for writers on a regular basis, including short stories, flash fiction and essay contests.

A year ago, I came across their essay contest which had a theme of ‘Your Writing Life’. As a software professional who dabbles in writing on the side, I felt quite passionately about this subject and had already begun an essay about how I’m constantly engaged in a tug of war with both my work and my creativity pulling at me.

I read a lot of past winning entries in both the fiction and nonfiction contests, and then I set about completing the essay and revising it. As I subscribe to their newsletter, I received timely reminders for the deadline. I have a habit of editing and revising right up until the last minute, and I’m sorry to say I did the same for this submission. My delays are mostly self-inflicted, as I worry about the quality of my writing and whether its worth the hassle of the entry free (a substantial $20!).

In fact, I dithered until the very last moment for that reason, wondering if I should splurge, and finally something pushed me to take the plunge.

Months passed, and I fully expected to receive a rejection, though I hoped for a shortlist at least. In their previous fiction contest, I had been pleasantly surprised by an encouraging note stating that they loved my story and I had made it to the final round but not placed.

So, it was with some trepidation when I woke up one morning and found an email from The Writer. The first few sentences were standard, thanking me for my entry and saying my piece had not been selected as a winner.

The last sentence perked me up: they would be interested to publish it in an upcoming issue! I did the dance and emailed them back right away saying I’d love that.

They offered me publication in the September’18 issue and $75 payment, which was credited into my Paypal just about a month later.       The whole experience was smooth and I would love to write for them again.

Here’s a link to their submission guidelines. Subscribe to their newsletter to remain updated about their contests.

Have you written for The Writer? Do you subscribe to their magazine? And if you have any tips for winning writing contests, let me know in the comments below!