SUBMITTING & PUBLISHING YOUR WRITING
Something I would not recommend to beginning writers is to start out with a novel. I did this, and I ended up writing three novels that never saw the light of day—I simply wasn't developed enough as a writer, although I thought I was at the time. My advice is to start out small, writing short stories and flash fiction the likes of which you have composed in this course, then submit them to different magazines and journals. It wasn't until I turned to the short form that I was able to hone my craft. I reverted back to the novelistic form later—three published short fiction collections later, and ten years after the abandonment of my third unpublished novel—with Dr. Identity, which won the Wonderland Book Award for best novel of 2007. I'm not saying this is the path all authors should and do take. The first thing J.K. Rowling wrote and published, for instance, was a novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and today, solely based on her writerly output, Rowling is a billionaire, ranked among the wealthiest people in Great Britain and read by more children and adults than virtually any other living author. I can hardly say the same for myself! In my experience, however, Rowling-like succes is seldom if ever realized. Most authors do best if they practice and master the art of fiction in small, progressive increments.
You will be required to prepare your final piece of fiction in this course for publication in either a print or online journal. You do not actually have to submit your work—although you are certainly encouraged to give it a shot—but you must structure it accordingly, and you must compose an accompanying cover letter. Whether you submit your fiction to a print or online journal will determine the way in which you format the cover letter. Pattern your letters after these samples:
sample cover letter for an online journal
sample cover letter for a print journal
Likewise will the way in which you format your fiction depend upon the venue you select. Pattern your fictions after these samples:
sample fiction for an online journal
sample fiction for a print journal
Bear in mind, these are general formats; often the editors of magazines and journals want you to format your cover letter and submission in uniquely specific ways. ALWAYS READ SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES THOROUGHLY. There are many databases you may use to find an appropriate venue for your work. I suggest using either New Pages or Ralan's Webextravaganza. As you will see, each publication featured on these websites contains basic information about the publication and almost always a link to its website. Based upon the type of fiction you write, you must search these databases and find a publication that you think is best suited for your fiction. The optimal way to do this is to read an issue and get a sense of the style and content of the authors they publish. All electronic publications, of course, will be available online, and even most print publications have various online existences (e.g., Monkeybicycle and Verbicide, two magazines in which my stories have appeared, both publish separate issues online and in print). This final project will thus be graded according to three primary criteria:  the effectiveness of your story,  the structure and professionalism of your cover letter, and  the relavance and suitablity of the magazine you choose for submission.