Showing posts from May, 2019

Details, Details, Details: The Manuscript Submission Process, Part IV

If you haven't been following this series, the first three posts on the manuscript submission process can be found here: Understanding Jargon Knowing When You're Ready to Submit Finding Places to Submit Your Work Today, I want to delve deeper into the specific details you'll want to check prior to letting your manuscript baby fly free from the nest. IMPORTANT:  You have to read the submission guidelines for every agent, publisher, magazine, and contest. Although certain guidelines are universal, you will find exceptions to the rules. Your best bet is to read, read, read the guidelines and read them again to be sure you're following the rules. Some of the common guidelines you should look for include: File Type:  The most commonly requested file types are .doc, .docx, and .rtf, but be sure you send the correct file type if they request an attachment. Attachments:  Most agents want you to copy and paste your pages into the body of the em

Where Do I Submit My Writing? The Manuscript Submission Process, Part III

Image courtesy of You've polished your manuscript, checked for errors, asked others to look over it, and NOW, you're ready to submit your work! First of all, pat yourself on the back. Most people who want to write (or say they want to write) never get this far. Good job! What you do next depends on your publication goals and what kind of manuscript you've written. I've broken these out by categories below. Novels If you've only revised your manuscript once or twice, you probably shouldn't be submitting yet. If you've been through rigorous revisions and had beta readers read it, you probably can submit. So who do you submit to? Agents Agents represent you and your interests through the publishing process. They are your first option for publishing a novel through a traditional route. Research the agencies, their agents, and their submission guidelines. Some of the guidelines are very specific; some aren't. I once submitted to an

The Manuscript Submission Process: Part II

Image courtesy of Last week, I defined some of the terms you may find on a submission guidelines page for an agent, publisher, or contest.  Today, I want to talk about the submission process itself. When Should You Submit? This question stymies many writers. No matter how many times you read over your manuscript, you're going to find something you could change. If that's the case, then when is it ready? No one has a perfect answer, but these are some of the warning signs that you shouldn't submit: Typos Inaccurate shifts in point of view An incomplete manuscript (yep, I do need to say this one) No time to revise or edit before the deadline I have submitted work the same day I wrote it...and actually gotten it published. I wouldn't expect that every time.  Most of the time, I submit my stories after months of working on them. You can feel safe if you're sure it's clean of errors and has a full story arc (for fiction) or complete mes

Interpreting Submission Guidelines: The Manuscript Submission Process Part I

Don't ruin your efforts here by not reading the guidelines before you submit! © Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved. During our writing critique group a few weeks ago, a member of the SCWA board visited to fill us in on upcoming plans for the organization, especially in regards to publication options and educational opportunities. During her presentation, she asked if anyone had questions. One of our newer members asked about the acceptability of submitting previously published works. Her question dismayed me because I realized this newer member didn't understand the typical criteria for submitting to a journal and hadn't thought to ask our group. We have plenty of opportunities to discuss these subjects before and after the meetings during our social time, but she had not participated in these opportunities yet. This got me thinking. What do newbies, and maybe more experienced writers, not know about the submission process? With that question in mind, I