Browsing articles in "Writers Toolbox"

Writer’s Toolbox: Editor’s Perspective from Glimmer Train

Jan 17, 2015   //   by Christina   //   Latest News, Writers Toolbox  //  No Comments

Glimmer Train is a fantastic high-quality literary magazine that I dream of one day being published in. There are only two editors who do all the reading. They put together an “Editor’s Perspective” for those of us who write literary fiction and want to get better and better. I won’t post the text here, but you can check it out here (it’s in PDF form). Highly recommended. I’m going to print it out and read it over and over again.

Writers Toolbox: 10 Tips for Submitting to Literary Journals

Oct 30, 2014   //   by Christina   //   Latest News, Writers Toolbox  //  No Comments

Writing for literary magazines is a good way to hone your craft and, with luck and a lot of hard work, get those valuable publishing credits. With over 160 submissions and counting under my belt over the last 3 years, plus a few acceptances to boot, I’ve learned some things about submitting to literary magazines which I’d like to share with you today in the hopes that it helps you to pursue your writing dreams.

1. Read all instructions carefully.

This is the first piece of advice you’re going to get, and, arguably, the most important. The top literary magazines get thousands of submissions every month, while only being able to accept about 5 stories & maybe about the same number of poems on average. You do the math. So, if you don’t follow their instructions on how to format & send your submission, you’re making the editors’ job so much easier. They can just toss out your work in an effort to diminish their slush pile. Generally, there are five main things to watch out for in the instructions.

Formatting: This is the type & size of font the editors want, information they want on the first page,

Length: What is the minimum and maximum length of stories they’ll accept.

Method of submissions: I’ll talk more about this in my next point, but follow these to a T. Don’t email, if they want it mailed. Don’t mail, if they prefer electronic submissions. It seems kind of obvious, but better safe than sorry.

Blind submissions: If the instructions specify that they read “blind”, this means that all identifying information should be deleted off your submission. Double-check this thoroughly. I once forgot to take my name off my header. Thankfully, the editor kindly informed me and allowed me to resubmit. Other editors may not be so merciful.

Cover letter & biography: I’ll also cover this in more detail. I personally feel you should always thank the editors for taking the time to read your work. Beyond that, some want you to include a bio or specific information in your cover letter. Some will want your bio. Some don’t care unless you’re accepted.

Sometimes, the instructions will be very short or vague. When in doubt, I follow these default manuscript guidelines. They make my submission look professional. It’s always smart to make a good first impression.
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Writers Toolbox: “5 Most Common Mistakes That Break Reader Immersion” by Creativity Hacker

Sep 17, 2014   //   by Christina   //   Latest News, Writers Toolbox  //  No Comments

I came upon this really great blog post from Creativity Hacker, which talks about the biggest factors interrupting reader immersion. These are important, because the last thing we want when someone reads our story or novel (or even non-fiction) is something within the writer mechanics or turn-of-phrase that shoves the reader out of their enjoyment of our piece. Plus, the geek in me likes how he analyzes it with fancy graphs.

“Today marks the publication of the 50th review in my ImmerseOrDie indie book review series. For those who don’t regularly follow it, the premise is simple: every morning I step onto my treadmill, open a new indie ebook, and begin my daily walk, reading the book for as long as I can maintain my immersion. When that immersion has broken three times, I stop, and write up a short report of what caused my attention to wander. This article today is a reflection on the first 50 such reviews, and a synthesis of A) whether or not I’ve been consistent in my evaluations, and B) trends I’m seeing in the causes of those immersion breaks.”

Read More here

Writer’s Toolbox: All I Need To Write by Grant Snider

Feb 10, 2014   //   by Christina   //   Latest News, Writers Toolbox  //  No Comments

**The Writer’s Toolbox series are resources I’ve found that have helped me in developing my writing and my writing career.  I hope you will find them as useful as I do.  All copyright is retained by the original writer. 

Original comic found here.

Writers Toolbox: 5 Fiction Mistakes that Spell Rejection by Moira Allen

Jan 27, 2014   //   by Christina   //   Latest News, Writers Toolbox  //  No Comments

**The Writer’s Toolbox series are resources I’ve found that have helped me in developing my writing and my writing career.  I hope you will find them as useful as I do.  All copyright is retained by the original writer. 

Original article found here.

 

Ask most fiction editors how to avoid rejection, and you’ll hear the same thing: Read the guidelines. Review the publication. Don’t send a science fiction story to a literary magazine, and vice versa. Don’t send a 10,000-word manuscript to a magazine that never publishes anything longer than 5,000 words. Spell check. Proofread. Check your grammar. Format your manuscript correctly. Be professional. Failure to observe these basics, many editors say, accounts for more than 80% of all short fiction rejections.

But what if you’ve done all that, and your stories are still coming back with polite, form rejection letters? I asked nearly 50 fiction editors — from traditional literary publications to flash fiction ezines — what types of problems resulted in the other 20% of rejections. These are the problems that plague stories that meet all the basic requirements, but still don’t quite "make the grade."

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