I have decided to try to sell a story, something I have done in the past only rarely, and always in a half-assed kind of way. The whole process has been very scary, yet tedious, which is an unpleasant combination. It is scary because I have been working toward this moment since I was seven years old, and because I know I am bound to get rejections aplenty, which will hurt a lot. It is tedious because of all the research, which is what separates this effort from the previous half-assed ones. I started by reading through the hundreds of entries in the "Literary Journals" section of the 2007 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market, flagging the ones that sounded as if they might be compatible with the story I have in mind. That was forty-six journals. Then, because I don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on sample copies, I went to all the websites of the journals that have them, which was about half, and looked through whatever samples they had online, when that was an option. Some were easy to eliminate, like the one that turned out to be only for writers with physical disabilities, or the ones where you have to mention or be from a certain area of the country. When I had done that, I had ten names, but I eliminated one because it "discourages" simultaneous submissions. (I don't know why they can't just say "Don't send us simultaneous submissions"; how am I supposed to know if I'm the rare exception?)
The nine most promising journals, for my current purposes, are as follows:
Bitter Oleander Black Warrior Review Grasslimb Massachusetts Review Mid-American Review Pearl Pindeldyboz (I bet you thought I made that name up when I mentioned it a few entries ago.) Quarter After Eight Willow Springs
Black Warrior Review and Willow Springs are available at most Barnes and Nobles, but I haven't been able to find the others, and I'd like to avoid shelling out sight unseen for seven sample copies. Does anyone know where I can find back issues of these journals, or samples of the kind of writing that has appeared in them? I could just submit to everybody and devil take the hindmost, but I don't want to be the asshole who submits a story to a journal without having read the journal first.