Don’t Sell Your Work Short By Chryselle D’Silva Dias

One of the first stories I wrote on the road becoming a ‘serious’ freelancer was comparing train travel between London and India. It was a subject close to my heart and the words flowed. Delighted with the end result, I pitched the essay to an ‘about-to-be-launched’ magazine in London. They loved the idea and accepted it for the inaugural issue.

Thrilled to bits, I smugly waited for publication. Months passed. I checked up on the magazine’s website. No updates. I emailed the editor to find out if my essay was still in the running – once, twice, thrice. No response.

Life went on. I forgot about the essay. I was reminded about it when I was surveying my submissions spreadsheet. It had been almost a year since my essay was accepted. I wrote to the editor, formally withdrawing the piece.

That did the trick. She wrote back explaining that the magazine didn’t really take off! A year of waiting and my essay was still unpublished.

Slightly dejected, I did what I should have done in the first place – I sent the essay to the Christian Science Monitor.

Three months later, I got a lovely cheque in the post and one of the best clips I have.

My submissions strategy has changed since then. I now submit to the best markets for my work and then work my way down the list. If my work is declined (I don’t use the word ërejected’), I move on. My waiting time between submissions has also reduced significantly. Taking control of my work, I’m giving each piece the best shot at publication that it has.

Whether you are a new or experienced writer, there’s a whole world of quality paying markets waiting for your words. Don’t sell your work short.

Chryselle D’Silva Dias is a UK based freelance writer. Her recent work includes a column in an in-flight magazine and an acceptance by the Guardian newspaper (UK). For more information, please visit