Home > Ask Our Experts > Getting Work Published Where do I Start?

Getting Work Published Where do I Start?

By: Angelique Caffrey - Updated: 31 Oct 2015 | comments*Discuss
Essays Getting Published Published


I have written a few essays and I would like to publish them in a newspaper or literature site. How can I publish them? Where do I start?

(Mr Recep Iseri, 11 December 2008)


First of all, congratulations on your accomplishment! Many people say they’re going to write, but most never complete the works that are within their hearts and minds. You, however, have made a great leap and are ready to tackle another—getting published.

There’s no one way to get published, but here’s a tried-and-true method that will get you started:

1. Determine the Niche for Your Essay

From your question, it’s not obvious whether you’ve written a fiction or non-fiction essay. If the essay is fiction, you’ll probably be limited to submitting it to literary journals, some printed magazines and websites. If it’s non-fiction, you have a few more options to consider, such as newspapers (online or print) and non-fiction magazines.

2. Target a Few Publications or Sites

After you’ve determined whether your essay is fiction or non-fiction, put together a compilation of publication and website names where you feel your work would be a good match. For instance, if you wrote a humorous piece about parenting, you would want to target websites and magazines primarily read by parents-to-be and parents.

3. Research Your Target Publications

After you have compiled a decent-sized list of target publications, do some research on each one. Find out (either by looking at their site or contacting their offices):

a) If they accept unsolicited simultaneous submissions from unpublished authors (and if they do, where to send them);b) What topics they are open to reviewing (they might not be interested in your essay if they are looking for something different or specific); andc) Whether they pay for essays (even if this isn’t your top consideration and you’d be happy with a byline instead of a byline AND a paycheck, it’s good information to know.)

4. Send a Query to Your Chosen Publications

Once you’ve completed your research and have narrowed your publications and sites down to a manageable number, it’s time to compose yet another piece of writing—a query letter. (If you’re not certain how to write a query letter, never fear… there’s an article on query writing at this very site!) Make certain your query letter is flawless; triple-check it from top to bottom. Then—fingers crossed—send it away.

5. Wait for a Response

This is probably the most difficult part of getting published! Most authors hate the “waiting game”, and for good reason. However, because you indicated that you have more than one essay on hand, perhaps you can spend your “waiting time” researching and querying a whole other group of publications or sites. Or, better yet, you can write more essays in the meantime.

6. Evaluate your Responses

As your responses come back, you’ll need to evaluate each one, especially if you get feedback from an editor (which is unusual, but does occasionally occur.) If you get an acceptance letter, that’s wonderful! But if you don’t, do not assume it’s because you’re a bad writer. It may just be that you weren’t a good fit with the publication. Dust yourself off and try again!

7. Never Give Up

One last note: NEVER GIVE UP! It’s easy to become discouraged when you’re eager to be published, but it takes a great deal of time for most writers to see their names “in print”. Keep putting your thoughts and ideas onto paper and push forward. Every “no” really does get you one step closer to “yes”!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Shay_Marie
    Re: Learning to Think Like a Writer
    I'm a young women who's graduated high school, and not yet been able to go to collage, but I have a passion for writing, and I…
    24 October 2017
  • Elena
    Re: Plot vs. Character
    I've been studying screen writing for 18 but feel I never can learn enough. I want to master the craft - eventually.
    23 August 2017
  • Chris
    Re: Script Writing Dialogue and Description
    Many, many thanks for the crafting of this scientific and auspicious art form of creativity*** you are hitting the…
    29 July 2017
  • JCarlos
    Re: What is a Synopsis and How to Write One
    I have no problem with writing screenplays but when it comes to writing the synopsis I just can't seem to write it…
    28 May 2017
  • deepu
    Re: Creating Your Website
    Use the prologue to provide backstory. One way to use a prologue is to provide backstory on a character or several characters. A backstory…
    15 May 2017
  • Nikki
    Re: What is a Synopsis and How to Write One
    Am writing a book on an African language and I wanted to know if i have to write a synopsis.
    7 May 2017
  • Giles
    Re: Narrative Journalism
    Hi there You might be interested in Well Told - it's the first conference in the UK to be dedicated to narrative and longform journalism.…
    18 April 2017
  • vanweha
    Re: Learning to Think Like a Writer
    i am young man who recently finished his high school. i have that passion of becoming a writter but i am too vulnerable to…
    12 March 2017
  • Lexy
    Re: Informative Writing
    This helped me with my informative essay for English honors 1. This was very helpful thank you.
    27 February 2017
  • Xeptional Angel Emen
    Re: What is Microfiction?
    can I write a micro story that the ending isn`t actually the end, like keep my audience in suspense or I must complete the story to give it…
    27 February 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ExploreWriting website. Please read our Disclaimer.