This week for the friday feature, I thought I’d offer tips on Submitting.
Last year, I had 17 or 18 publications. This year so far, I’ve had maybe 9 or 10 acceptances. I must be doing something right.
I think it should go without saying your work should be free of grammar and punctuation errors. I heard from one writer who was offended by an editor; her response: “I know I had errors, but they weren’t that bad.” – No excuses. Edit that work before you send it out.
First: Make a regular time to sit down to submit. This takes HOURS. It’s not going to be just a fifteen minute or thirty minute venture. You must read what the lit mags are looking for as well as how they want it submitted. Then compare it to what you might have already written, or what you’re willing to write.
Second: Keep track of your submissions.
Third: Accept rejection. (It tells me that I’m doing my job by submitting.)
Fourth: Accept criticism. You are going to get opinions. Just today, I received a rejection that said I repeated a word. That was the whole of their rejection. The word in question was repeated twice in the whole story, but I guess they didn’t like it. I moved on.
Fifth: If they ask for changes – agree (maybe). I’ve met many writers who take issue with this. They wonder if I don’t care about my work. They think I’m mad for even considering it. There are some things I won’t change. But, so far, the editors who have asked for changes have asked for simple things like rewrite this sentence, change this punctuation. No one has asked me to make major changes to any piece I love.
And Finally: Be considerate to writers, editors, and publishers in emails, on public sites, and anywhere you may meet them. When you act inappropriately, word can get around.