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3 Strategies for getting published

So you’ve written a provocative and timely piece, had it edited, and are now just chomping at the bit to have your article published. Publication can often be the hardest step of the process (hard to believe I know after toiling away so long on producing your article).

I’ve used the following strategies to get my articles published:

Write a remarkable cover letter. This is where you really need to sell your article. Describe why it is timely and relevant. Are you commenting on a recent article? Are you discussing an important piece of legislation, current event, or controversial policy or practice? The editor wants to know why your article belongs in their journal and why it would be a mistake for your article to go elsewhere.

Have great readers. You no doubt work with great people: department chairs, faculty, managers, even students. Allow them to edit and make comments on your drafts as you go through the writing process. I’ve always had top-notch people looking at my articles from substance to style. It not only helps you get a feel for what other accomplished authors and bright minds think about your work, but it also reduces the amount of work your editors will have to do, which is a great plus.

Shoot for the stars. You’ve no doubt heard of authors set on publication in one journal. They submit to that journal, get rejected, and there goes their enthusiasm for the piece. One thing I always do as send my article off to as many journals as possible, from the general to the specific, domestic to international, and print to online. Something has to stick. Chances are that if you write in a fairly well developed field, you have plenty of options. Even think about going across disciplines. I’ve submitted law review articles to political science journals. Why not try to submit an art history article to a history journal? Or a communications article to a sociology journal?

With this information in hand, try out some of these strategies. Don’t be afraid of rejection from your readers or from journals. The best and the brightest have all had their fair share of criticism. The important point is to be thorough and persistent. It will always pay big rewards.

Nick J. Sciullo lives and works in Alexandria, Virginia. He is a grass roots organizer for a non-profit organization and President & CEO of Nick J. Sciullo Consulting, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond and West Virginia University College of Law. Along with a forthcoming article in the Whittier Law Review, he has been published in SCROLL: The Howard University Social Justice Law Review, and several newspapers. His research interests include critical race theory, feminism, postmodern studies, rhetoric, and pop culture.