Thursday, April 15, 2021


writing, publishing, perseverance, rejection
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Erik Witsoe


I can show my clients how to craft a children's story and how to compose a query letter.  But the one thing I can't show them is how to slow down and be thorough when submitting to a publisher. 

All of my clients want to get published, but Gail seems more desperate than the rest.  I believe her desperation causes her to be impetuous.  And when she's impetuous she rushes and gets careless about submitting her work.  This worries me.   Her impulsive behavior may sabotage the dream of seeing her work in print.   

So, when we work on her projects, I remind Gayle of the three steps every writer should do before submitting to a magazine: 

1.  Adhere to guidelines.  The submission requirements may list the word count, the formatting specifics, the magazine's focus, and the age range of the audience.    

2.  Study a few back issues.  Take a look at the topics to get an idea of the subjects that are published.    Note the tone (serious or light) and the formatting to see if subheadings are used and shape the work similarly.  

3.   Edit and polish the manuscript.  Have a second reader review it to catch grammar or spelling errors and to give ways to improve the piece.   

No matter how often I remind Gayle of those three steps, she still rushes the process.  And because of that, her latest submission did not have a happy ending. 

Gayle submitted a piece to a children's magazine.  But within six weeks, she received a rejection.  The editor replied he did not publish the kind of work Gayle had sent him. 

I felt bad for her.  She revised and edited her work and wrote a professional query letter, but she submitted a piece that wasn't a good fit for this market.  It could be the guidelines were vague, though I got the feeling that she didn't notice that a good portion of the magazine was written by children. 

Needless to say, Gayle feels defeated.  But no matter how frustrated she gets, I believe she has potential.  I feel it in my bones she'll be published.  She just needs to listen to sound advice and slow down.  Writing for publication is not a race.  I'm hoping she'll realize this.  Because when she learns to take her time and adhere to the steps of submitting, her publication dreams will come true.   

✌ and