You’re in a hurry, I know. So here’s the link. You’ll find the most “hands-on” info by scrolling down to “Part 2.”
But the background in Part 1 is good to know. Take some time to read that, too.
And remember, though it only takes one magazine to get published (thank you for this insight, Tim Wendel), it takes persistence to get that one “Yes!” Let this (taken from the Lincoln Michel’s how-to-guide) inspire you:
Obviously, you need to write great work, and cultivate whatever habits and attributes allow you to create great work. But this essay can’t help you with that. What I can tell you is that the most important part of submitting is persistence.
Before I ever submitted a story, I took a creative writing class where we studied that year’s Best American Short Stories. In the back of the anthology, each author talked about how they got published. One writer said her story was rejected 30 times before being picked up by Tin House. Let the first part of that sink in: 30 times. Thirty.
But let the second part sink in too: The piece was published by Tin House and selected by Best American Short Stories! Her persistence paid off not just any old publication, but by publication in one of the best literary magazines and selection in one of the three big year-end anthologies.
Similarly, I’ve seen many writers talk about how they submitted work to this or that magazine 20 times before they ever got something accepted. If you bombard editors with nonstop submissions, they may stop reading you. But if you are following the guidelines and submitting good work, you can eventually crack through.