Tag Archives: Lit Mag

Published: My Most Memorable Door by Sam A. Stevens

26 Jan

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have seen this announcement on Saturday:

Yeah, that really happened! My husband came home while I was doing situps and told me I had a package from The MacGuffin. It’s been almost a year since I submitted to the magazine and the publication of this issue was four months delayed so FINALLY is appropriate.

And if you follow me on Facebook, you probably saw this slightly more planned post a little while later:

Doesn’t it look beautiful?

This has been a long time coming. I have a folder filled with drafts of this story. The oldest date I can find is April 2014 but my records tracking shows I started submitting it in January 2014, two years ago! I submitted it to a total of 14 literary magazines and had to withdraw it from four of those when The MacGuffin accepted me. They responded on May 1st 2015 and I’m just now seeing my name in print. It’s been a long journey.

I’m learning not to give up on the long game and the investment in writing. It will take a lot of work and a lot of drafts you should see how thick the folder is for this story). But this feeling is incredible. Nothing feels better than this. Nothing.

If you want to read it for yourself, you can order a copy from The MacGuffin website. Be sure to get the Fall 2015 edition.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!


Submitting Again

19 Jan

I’m so excited to announce that I’ve started submitting to lit mags again! I finished up a short story last week and I’ve sent it out to three different literary magazines and I hope to send it to a few more. It’s been a year since I submitted my last piece which should be published very soon. (There will be a post when that happens, no worries!)

I’m excited about this piece. I’ve had a lot of people look at it and I’ve made a lot of changes since it was conceived and I think its message comes across now. It was a piece I wanted to say something with and I hope I’ve said it. I hope.

Anyway, get ready for more post about dealing with rejection! It’s that time for me again. I’ll keep submitting to new magazines when I have time. The more eyes that see it, the more likely I’ll get some solid feedback or that someone else will like it. I’m being hopeful, it probably needs another round of revisions.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Published! In a real Lit Mag!

12 May

Yes, it’s true! I finally found a home for my short story, ‘My Most Memorable Door.’ I’ve been trying to place this piece since late 2013 and I found out on May 1 that I’d been successful! My piece will run in the summer edition of The MacGuffin. The MacGuffin is published by Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI. To tell you how close that is to me, I pass it when I go visit my best friend. It’s really cool to be recognized locally!

This is some of the biggest news I’ve received in years. My husband said the face I made was as excited as they day he proposed to me in 2011. I finally feel validated. Someone wanted my writing! They thought it was good. This is the second journal to publish my writing but the first time I’d met the publisher face to face and felt like that influenced her too much. It was also a brand new press that was in need of submissions. But this time, it’s a magazine that’s been around since the 80s and while I’m a local author to them, the piece is about New York City.

When I hear that you have to continue to submit and submit before finding the right fit for a piece, I’m discouraged. I did that and still didn’t hear anything back. Like I said, since late 2013, all I’ve heard was ‘No.’ I submitted to 14 magazines in total and it took that much for someone to say ‘Yes.’ It took five major overhauls, 2 writers groups (reading it 3 times) and 5 individual readers. Rome isn’t built in a day and not by a single person. I’m so thankful to those who helped me get this piece into the best shape of its life.

Look for another few posts about this as I get closer to the release date. I’m beyond excited to begin sharing my writing with the world!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Rejected Again!

14 Apr

UntitledRejection letter #2 found its way to me on my birthday. I know, that sounds just awful, doesn’t it? I didn’t let it phase me that day and didn’t even think about it until the day after, but I got accepted to grad school that day and now, two weeks later, I’m ready to think about it.

Am I upset? Only that it came via email at with such poor timing. Am I overly surprised? I guess not. It was a piece I’ve workshopped once before and this was a bit of an experiment to see how much revision a piece needs to be publication ready. I’ve workshopped it again now (more on that tomorrow) and I will once more before I send it out again. I’ve picked out the magazine already. If it’s rejected again, well, it will have been long enough I can bring it back in to the same workshops and maybe they will have forgotten about it. Maybe.

I know it’s a natural part of the writing cycle and I’m among many great and celebrated writers with this rejection. It’s nothing special, but it also shows that my writing is nothing special. I’m not going to be an overnight success. And really, I’m okay with that. If I was going to be, I’d hope that I’d know it by now. That’s not something you expect to come as a surprise.

How are your rejection letters stacking up? I’m keeping my in the same file where I keep my workshopped copies. I’ll probably have to separate those at some point, but for now it’s comforting that there’s only two.

As a reminder, if you’re interested in doing a Read-Along, please respond to this post. There’s a poll where you can vote on what book you’d like to read. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can see all of these on the right hand bar. (You know you want to.)

Until next time, write on.

Waiting for Godot… I mean LitMag Responses

20 Feb

I find waiting for LitMag responses very nerve-wracking and stressful. I want to check my status on Submittable hourly, but I know it’s not going to change. I have two pieces sitting in their queue, one since January 22 and the other since the 29th. I caved yesterday and checked them again, the first time in a week.

No movement.

And rightfully so. The response time for both pieces is not over yet so I can’t bug the editors or even glare menacingly at my computer screen. It’s expected, it’s accepted, it’s how things are. But it still frustrates me.

I don’t like to have a piece out to multiple places, even if they allow simultaneous submissions. It’s a personal thing, I don’t know if I can explain it well. However, the long turnaround times make it difficult to get anything published and many magazines don’t accept simultaneous. My personal preferences aside, this makes things more complicated.

I’ve promised myself to get something published this year so these pieces will keep making the rounds if the two magazines they’re at now don’t accept them. I’m hoping to get them to at least four or five magazines (if they’re not accepted first!) by the end of the year.

Does this review process frustrate you, Reader? If you’ve worked for a LitMag, is the lengthy turnaround time necessary? What are the editors doing in the meantime?

Please leave a comment, I love to hear from you. While you’re at it, feel free to click over to my Facebook Fan Page and follow me there. Post updates go there automatically and I like to post some book-nerd things there for your enjoyment.

Until next time, write on.

Magazine Gold: Jan and Feb

28 Jan

A few months ago, I won a giveaway on Gus Sanchez’s blog where I was rewarded with a free one-year subscription to Poets & Writers magazine. My idea is to give you, my wonderful readers, some snippets that I found most interesting from every issue. The magazine was really interesting and a great read. If you’ve ever considered a subscription, I encourage you to do it!

Some articles can be found on PW’s website.

Writing the Sex Scene by Beth Ann Fennelly. I was intrigued by this article because of its author, Fennelly, whose book The Tilted World I read a few months ago. It was in this article that I heard about the Bad Sex in Fiction Award that I posted about yesterday. Fennelly muses over the lack of a good medium between badly written passionate sex and good writing about a lack of sex.

Agents & Editors: David Gernet. Gernet offers a great amount of advice from his variety of roles in the publishing world. One thing he said that struck me the most was this: “An e-book often takes sales away from a hardcover edition when a book is first published, and the author makes less money from the e-book than from the hardcover.” This shocked me! How unfair is that to an author? Why would it matter how the book sold at all, the author should collect royalties for it anyway! Rude.

PW offers a Lit Mag database.

Magazines accepting submissions with little to no fee: Dash Literary Journal, Main Street Rag, Apple Valley Review, Kansas City Voices, The Evening Street Review, Mount Hope Magazine, Steam Ticket, and The Chattahoochee Review.

How to Make a Life, Maybe Even a Living. I might be biased toward this article, but I still loved it. Nestled in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a new book store, Literati. Yes, I’ve been there with Nicole once. And of course, the store is awesome. I learned from the article that Ann Arbor is the birthplace of Borders and Literati bought the bookshelves from the closed Borders in town. Full circle! Their location was also the campaign offices for Michigan’s current governor, Rick Snyder (who is pretty  awesome in my opinion). If you’re ever fortunate enough to be in Ann Arbor and can make a stop at Literati, be sure to check out the manual type writer in the basement. The owners sometimes save what was written that day.

Writing Contests with little to no fee: Chicago Tribune, Sixfold, and The Southeast Review.

Anyone else who’s local to the Ann Arbor area might like to know about two presses in the area, Sleeping Bear Press in Ann Arbor and Eerdmans Books for Young Readers in Grand Rapids, MI.

I hope this information was helpful to you all. I’ll be looking through for some submission material soon myself.

Until next time, write on.

There is a Library Hotel in NYC. I want to go!