I once heard someone somewhere say that you can tell a lot about a profession by how one finds work. A business man applies for a job. Actors audition. Athletes try out. Writers submit. We submit short stories to literary journals. We submit query letters to magazines and agents. We submit our lives to the endeavor of putting words to paper (or screen as the case may be). The whole thing just reeks of innuendo.
I long ago accepted this truth about writing. The thing I’ve had more trouble with is keeping track of all my submissions. For a long time I used a few different excel spread sheets. It was crude, but effective. Recently though, I’ve found a couple (free) online options that have really helped me get organized. I thought I’d share them for anyone else out there who is looking for ways to streamline their writing life.
First was Query Tracker. In addition to listing agents, along with their submission guidelines, this website allows you to make your own personalized list. From there you can manage who you’ve submitted to, when and what the response was.
Second is The Writer’s Database. This one is to track submissions to magazines and journals. The thing I like best about this one is that it lets you organize by piece (showing you everywhere you sent a certain short story for instance), or by venue. It also has the very cool additional feature of providing a desktop widget (I use it on my mac dashboard) that shows you instantly what queries have been out the longest and should probably be followed up on.
Hope that helps some of you out there. And remember, if you’re not getting rejected, you’re not trying hard enough. Submit, submit, submit.