To increase your chances of getting published, just follow the rules and use good manners. This is not a trick. This is proven effective. I cannot tell you where inspiration comes from, but I can tell you what will increase your chances of getting published.
- Follow the Submission Guidelines: Really. Submission guidelines are there to streamline the process. Read them carefully. Accept them as gospel truths. If you do, you can be sure the submission gets a fair shake. If you don’t, the work is immediately dismissed.
- Less is More with Your Bio: Keep bios short and sweet. Some mystery is good. Add three-to-five previous publication credits, one sentence that describes you outside of letters, and the link to your website.
- Make Cover Letters Professionally Unique: Again, less means more. A genuine greeting, note of gratitude, and specific reasons you enjoy a publication and/or what drew you to their door are good ideas. “Genuine” is the word of the day. A succinct show of respect goes far.
- Let Us Know if It’s Published Elsewhere: Simultaneous submissions can be a headache for magazines. If your submission is accepted elsewhere, immediately tell the others. Magazines often plug in content as it’s accepted. If failure to communicate prior publication requires editors to redesign the next issue, that leaves a bad taste.
- Be Patient: Patience is a super power, and appealing to – everyone. Editors make effort to respond to you in good time. Don’t follow up about the status of your submission until the specified time frame is past. Getting fussy or rude does no favors, and may eliminate any chance of acceptance now, or in the future.
Make sure the magazines you choose to submit publish material in your wheel house. If there’s a theme they want, be sure to match it. If you see an error in formatting once the issue comes out, kindly let the journal know, and they’ll be happy to make it right. In the event they pass on your work, do not take it personally, and do not rage on the editors. Good manners and an eye for detail will do wonders for your submissions. It’s an art form unto itself. I hope this helps you navigate creatively choppy waters.