Sunday, October 20, 2019

Follow the Guidelines is Not a Cliché

Follow the Guidelines is Not a Clichà © Agents say it all the time. Editors believe in it and cant wait for an excuse to delete a submission when someone ignores it. Websites and writing guides everywhere say, Follow the guidelines carefully, or Become familiar with the publication. Yet I dare say half of todays submissions do not do either. If you DO follow the guidelines, the person youre pitching will instantly give you better consideration. Im serious. Thats all it takes. There are that many submissions that fail to adhere to the rules that finding one that does is refreshing. Recently several places noted FundsforWriters as a paying market. FFW indeed pays up to $50 for   a solid 550-600-word piece for the newsletter. The flood gates opened and in came the submissions. I was excited. I love opening a query from a writer who obviously read the guidelines at . Instantly, I see that author as serious, attentive to details, and understanding of FundsforWriters needs. Some pieces just arent quite what Im looking for. Maybe a little lightweight. Maybe there are nonpaying markets involved (I dont do nonpaying in FundsforWriters). Maybe its a story so far out there that it wouldnt apply to many of my readers. Thats okay. A rejection is in order, but I explain why and thank them for submitting. Then there are others. Some of them present a concept I like, but the effort of editing makes it not worth the payment. Every editors time is precious. If a writer submits a piece that needs work, regardless the subject, an editor cant use it. FundsforWriters is always open to submissions. Ive booked articles as far as six months out, but I dont close down submissions. But while Ive got your attention, Ill post a few of my pet peeves, items that require me to email back and forth with a writer. Trust me, an editor prefers a clean package all in one submission, requiring minimal back and forth. 1) Academic writing. All theory. No anecdotes. No takeaway, practical value. No personality. 2) ESL writing. I do not mind submissions from around the world, but if I must clean up the grammar to make it work, regardless the topic, I wont. 3) Elementary topic, commonly read on many blogs. 4) How-to without links, resources, and examples. 5) Assorted fonts in one article. Editors format. Writers write. 6) No

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