Next week, I will publish another post concerned with some of the topics discussed in my book, Just Perfect. This week, however, I want to just send out some more tips to all of you that, like me, are passionate about writing... and intent on publishing.
Before blindly submitting your work to contests and/or publishers, however, you need to consider the following guidelines/ideas. Sometimes, if not following some or all of the below, manuscripts may be discarded without having been read at all. Better pay some attention here - it's a short post, but neglecting these simple rules can make the difference between an acceptance and a rejection! :)
1. Times New Roman size 12 (no fancy or unreadable fonts!).
2. Double-space (unless otherwise indicated).
3. Proofread, edit, check! Spelling (ex: too, two, to), grammar (ex: Anna's, Annas), words (ex: lie/lay, then/than), etc.
4. Don't repeat the same word over and over... Boring!
5. Don't switch tenses around.
6. Make sure the point of view (POV) fits your story and adds to it. Generally, it is better to stick to one POV throughout.
7. Every publisher/editor/magazine/contest has different guidelines. Read and understand them before submitting!
8. As well as seeing the guidelines, you might want to read some of the issues by that magazine or published novels by that publisher. If it is a contest you are submitting to, read several stories/poems from previous winners.
9. Submit your work! (Caution: some may ask for SASE, a bio, or a cover letter)