Recently, I’ve been looking for new markets for some of my shorter pieces of writing. I want to get more of my own stuff (not contract work) out there and, realistically, have to admit that short is what I can fit in between book projects. Because I blog at PrayPower, I’ve been checking out some of the religious publications and Sunday school take homes.
Unfortunately, this means that I’ve been making my way through a variety of pieces that make me shudder. There are the pieces where my reaction is a matter of craft — preachy does not work for me although it is something some religious publishers will buy. My objection to other pieces is theological — what they preach just doesn’t fit into the PC USA belief system (for example — you are sick because you sinned).
One of the hardest points to get a cross to my students is that these are not good markets for my work. The problem is that if you think your work is “better” than what has already been published, your work is simply not a good match for this market. It isn’t your job to set them straight either in terms of craft, theology or scientific principals.
I get it. That may not be what you want to hear but it’s a fact. Very few publishers appreciate it when a writer comes along and says, “Not to worry. I’ve figured out what you’re doing wrong and I’m here to fix it.”
Your job is to find a publication that closely matches your interests, your style, and your voice. It’s nice if this publication also matches your world view because it means you can relax a bit as you write but that one isn’t 100% essential.
What can I say? Finding a possible publisher is a lot like finding a match. It may take a while to find your “dream come true,” but it works a lot better than giving it a shot with a “fixer upper.”