Submissions Log

I have a few Excel files that really help me to keep my writing organized.  My submissions log is probably the most helpful, so I thought I would talk about that one today.   Imagine how embarrassing it would be to send the same story to the same editor over and over.  Keeping a submissions log helps to keep everything straight and avoid mixups.

My Submissions Log has the following categories running across the top of the page: 
Category  (Prose or Poetry)
Type   (Short Story, Novel, Flash Fiction,  Free Verse, Sonnet, etc)
Genre  (Romance, Horror, Mainstream, Memoir, etc)
Sent to (Name of publication or contest)
For (Publication or Contest)
Date Sent
Postage (cost of stamps or electronic)
Fee (if any, for contest entry or reading fee)
Outcome (Rejected, Contest placement, Accepted for Publication)
Notified (the date you get the results)
Note (When you expect to hear results, Editor’s comments, etc)

 When something is rejected or loses a contest, I highlight the row it’s in and change the font color to a light  gray.  When something is accepted for publication, the font goes red and the title goes bold.  At a glance, I can see what I’ve submitted to whom, when, and the outcome.  

Not only do I know where my manuscripts are, I can track any particular work’s progress over time.  You can click ‘data’ on the toolbar, select sort, and rearrange the information.  You can alphabetize the data by accending dates, or choose to arrange everything by the date you submitted it.  Another click could show you a list of everything marked ‘accepted’. 

Keeping up with the amount you spend on fees and postage is a good idea, since you may one day need it for your taxes.  The Editor slot will help you remember which editors really liked your work, or really hated it; a few years from now, the guy who loved your short story might be working for a different magazine or publishing house, so it would be to your benefit to keep up with his name. 

A submissions log can have any categories you want, I’m just showing mine as an example.   You can whip one up in a matter of minutes and it’s a wonderful tool for keeping your records organized.

7 comments on “Submissions Log

  1. WHat a great idea, I may copy your idea.


  2. Ooooh! I like this! I’m going to set be something similar today, that way I’ll be ready for when I start send queries out. Thanks for the idea!
    🙂 Ang

  3. Corra McFeydon says:

    Great suggestions!! I’ll do thne day when I get up the nerve to send out work. 😉


    from the desk of a writer

  4. Corra McFeydon says:

    Blast! My Internet keeps eating letters.

    That should read:

    ‘one day when I get up the nerve.’


  5. Thanks, I’m glad y’all like the idea. Feel free to use it to make your own log. 🙂

  6. Joy says:

    Very useful tool. I never seem to be able to keep up with something like this though. I keep falling behind.

  7. Lindsey says:

    I am SO bad at doing this…I’ve thought about using the query tracker systems, but…so far I haven’t found something that works for me!

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