Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Few Tips to Keep You Out of the Slush Pile

From Jillian Weise's excellent class for the Writing Room, a few do's and don'ts  that drew gasps from the audience. [Okay, I'm exaggerating-- not gasps, just mad scribbling as they wrote everything down.] Jillian-- prolific and talented poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, and editor of the South Carolina Review,  suggests these Do's when you submit your work to magazines:

Use 12 point Times New Roman font.

Include a header with your name, address, phone number and email on every page.

Simultaneously submit, and keep a spreadsheet of your submissions. Jillian submits new work every 3 months, wave after wave. When rejections come in, she deals with them in the next 90 day wave. When acceptances come in, contact the other publications to which you submitted and let them know. 

Do use Duotrope's Digest to research and target magazines appropriate for your work. And--of course-- read and subscribe to magazines, and be thoroughly familiar with the publications you submit to.

Write a clear and succinct cover letter
...and speaking of cover letters:
  •  Keep it short and to the point.
  • Address to the editor by name if possible.
  • Don't end with "Cheers." 
  • Don't mention your blog unless it has higher number than Slate.
  • Don't kiss ass, with gushing compliments about how wonderful the publication is. Save that for a separate letter to the editor. [In other words, let your work speak for itself.] 
  • Do mention if you haven't been published before. Seems counter-intuitive, but magazines love to be the first to publish someone, and discover talent.
call the magazine to check on your work...withdraw your call...don't call the magazine for any reason.

forget you can also submit online.

No comments:

Post a Comment

eXTReMe Tracker