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5 Tips About Submitting Your Work to Us

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Thinking about submitting an essay, a story, or a poem to our editors for possible publication but unsure about some of the terms we use in our submission guidelines? In this post, I address some of the questions about simultaneous submissions and previously published work that we received this past year. Next week, I'll answer some of the formatting questions you asked.


Simultaneous Submissions

Q: Do you accept simultaneous submission?
Yes, we allow simultaneous submissions but we expect writers to be honest and fair with us. This means we want to know--in the cover letter accompanying your submission---that you've also submitted it to another publication.

But please don't email us a week after sending your submission with news that your piece was just accepted by another publication--but because you'd really like to be published at LM, you'd like to know our response first . . . and within 24 or 48 hours. In most instances, we cannot meet that demand.

We publish 10 issues a year, and we pride ourselves on publishing top-notch writing. We thoroughly read and discuss each piece. We commit to a timely response and we make an investment in our writers. If we're not interested in your piece, we'll tell you and wish you luck in finding the right home for it. If we're interested in your piece, we'll ask that you give us first right of acceptance and that you do not submit the piece to another publication during the revision process. This also means you withdraw your piece from any other publication you've submitted it to.

Q: Is submitting to a contest considered a simultaneous submission?
The short answer is yes but the long answer is, it depends. Tell us about the contest and the rewards and let us decide.


Previously Published Work

Q: Do you publish reprints?
No, we prefer unpublished work. We will, however, consider reprints if you have the rights and the work is not currently available online, but because we only publish 10 issues a year, we're more interested in publishing new work for our readers.

We realize that the digital environment allows for a multitude of publication avenues, but please do not tell us this is a longer (or shorter) version of a piece that's been previously published. And, please do not tell us it's different, even though the title is the same. Other scenarios:

"This has been published and is still available online."
Our response: Yes, we consider the piece published.

"This has been published online but is not currently available."
Our response: Yes, we consider this piece published, but tell us about the publication and let us decide.

"This has been published in print and for a small readership or is out of print."
Our response: Yes, we consider this piece published, but tell us about the publication and let us decide.

"This has been published on my blog."
Our response: Yes, we consider the piece published.


Timely Response

Q: How soon can I expect a response?
Our standard response time is between 3 and 12 weeks. During that time, your submission may be read by five different people. Though we're in close communication with each other, we're all volunteers and therefore are reading your submissions around our individual work and family life schedules. We ask for your patience and understanding, but if you've not heard from us after 12 weeks, please send a follow-up email.


The Guidelines

In addition to our general submission guidelines, we have specific guidelines for each of our seven departments. Please read them thoroughly and send your work to the right department.

We look forward to reading it!

Karna ConverseĀ is a freelance writer who’s written everything from technical documentation and price proposals to newsletter articles, devotionals, personal profiles and essays. Her essays have been published in a variety of regional and national publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, the Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup anthologies, Our Iowa, and on Iowa Public Radio. She and her husband are parents to three young adults. Karna is a former blog editor, senior editor, managing editor, and editor-in-chief of Literary Mama.

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