Writers, especially those starting enthusiastically with publishing their work, are likely to pat my shoulder (virtually) if I endorse their feelings about the general apathy and hubris of editors. Well, I’m afraid I won’t; though I would have loved to do this some years ago, but not now when I am seated in an editorial chair (me first works here too). Hey, don’t run fellas, I am still a writer and I won’t thrash any people of pen. But even if I do, I’ll use a writer-friendly ink. So here are some smart guidelines, or smartlines, on increasing your chances of selection at the editor’s desk.
- Read the complete guidelines of the publication and try level best to comply by them while submitting to an editor. In case you are not able, for some reason, to meet one or more requirement, query first with the editor for his/her approval of any alternatives.
- Always care about the length of your submission. It is quite common among writers to submit entries several thousands of words in length when the specified submission length is no more than one to two thousand words.
- Unless allowed through guidelines, don’t fret an editor by submitting in bulk. It is simply nauseating for an editor to open his inbox one morning and find it occupied by the invasion of a submitting machine.
- A few editors may allow anonymous submissions and/or entries without a title or a written note to the editor. But most would frown upon such entries. Take a moment to briefly introduce yourself and bother to pen down a few sentences about the background of your work.
- Do you love to submit in the latest, less commonly used programs that will charge the editor an extra hour in finding the software needed to run the program so as to be able to read/save your work? If so, then your chances are less than those submitting in standard formats and common programs like MS Word and Notepad. Why not use these ‘old-but-gold’ programs?
- Please be patient in hearing back from editors. Remember that editors are not answering machines. They usually run busy schedules (just like many of you) and pestering them with reminders is not welcome.
- Don’t shrink from future submissions if you are rejected once by an editor. You just need to do it better and win.
- Saying ‘Thank you!’ along with a few words of courtesy is always a good policy instead of walking out on someone.
Hoping the above comes helpful to you, allow me now to submit this article to the editor (I told you I am still a writer) and return to my own editorial chair.