Try, Try Again


Missouri Review editor Michael Nye explains the importance of persistence when it comes to submitting to literary journals, saying that editors do begin to recognize the names and writing of long-time submitters. The argument might seem self-serving, however, given that Nye has long defended reading fees as essential to funding journals. Nevertheless, he explains that repeat submitters do benefit from stubbornly sending new submissions despite frequent rejections:

I submit my stories less often now; I write them slower, I’m more selective about where I send my work, and I’m not nearly as impatient to published as I used to be. But the persistent writer, the one who keeps trying us again and again, is a good thing. A new story to us once every six months, or year, or two years, whatever the pace might be that suits you, is good. Not just for us, but for other literary magazines as well. And, good for the writer.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →