Join Leanne Dyck's exciting author journey. Leanne is writing picture books for children, a novel for young adults and short stories for you. Every Sunday evening, she shares book reviews or articles about writing or glimpses into the life of an author with dyslexia or one of those short stories. For a list of Leanne Dyck's published work please visit the publishing history page. Please help nurture this blog by visiting, commenting, subscribing and sharing.
This adventure began when I received an email from Geist...
Last Saturday I attended two workshops—back to back—in
Vancouver. Yes, this little island gal went to the big city. Culture shock,
Vancouver is a pretty city. Being of size, it could be
encased in concrete. It could be but it isn’t. City planners have made room for
green spaces—trees, flowers, grass. My eyes danced merrily through the autumn
colours. Add to this the backdrop of majestic mountains and picturesque ocean
views. Now you know why I call Vancouver pretty.
Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre was the venue.
Thankfully my volunteer driver was not only equipped to manoeuvre through the
traffic but also could easily navigated through the city. We found it.
My next challenge was finding room 400. Room 400 must be
on the fourth floor, I reasoned. So I took the escalator upstairs. I looked
around and couldn’t see any room numbers, at all--none. The first workshop
starts at 9 am. It’s 9:10 now. I need to find help and fast. I looked down
at the first floor and spotted the Information booth. I’d walked right past it.
Escalators aren’t my thing. I have a reoccurring nightmare
of stepping on and plummeting to my death. Admittedly it’s an illogical fear.
But aren’t most fears? Time was ticking away and I had no choose, so I stepped
on. Once again fate spared me.
Like a chicken with her head cut off, I flew to the booth.
“I’m so late. Please you have to help me locate my room.”
The young uniformed man spoke slowly and calmly. “I’m happy
to help you. What room are you looking for?”
“400. I’m here for the writers’ workshop.” Please…please…please…please…
“Well, you’re not late. In fact, you’re the first one here.”
Why has it been cancelled? That’s just my luck I
came all this way and…
“The workshop starts at 10 am. But I’ll show you to your
Note: These are
Canadian literary journals and so they’re interested in Canadian stories.
Why submit to literary journals?
To fulfill a Canada Council grant requirement.
(Your stories must be published in four literary journals.)
(Or you must have written a book that was later released by
a professional publishing house.)
Gets your name in front of editors/publishers
Why not to submit?
It’s not a good source of income.
Long response time—due to the number of hands your story
must be passed to.
-Writers write so write—and then submit.
-Do your homework. Know what type of stories the literary
journal is seeking. Know the name of the editor you’re submitting to.
-Don’t send simultaneous submissions to literary journals.
Editors are pressed for time. They may plan an entire issue around your story.
So when you phone them and say, “Ooops, someone else printed that story.” They
won’t be pleased. What you could do instead is offer them the story exclusively
for a short period of time (four months).
-Use the stamp of the country you’re sending to…
(USA stamp to USA) (Canadian stamp to Canada)
-Hire an artist accountant to do your taxes
-Practice writing your bio (around 3 sentences)
-If you write to the literary journal’s theme you will
probably have more success at becoming published.
-You can’t publish your short story in a variety of venues
(i.e. in print, on-line). Pick one.
Things to mention in your cover letter
-Where you live (i.e. what province)
-Every literary journal in which your stories have been
-If you’ve received a personal note from them (the literary
journal you’re submitting to) regarding an earlier submission, mention it