Submission to the Date From Hell Writing Contest has closed. The judges must now read through your stories and come up with a shortlist, which will be announced by Wednesday 4th April 2012, and after which you will have a brief period to comment on the shortlist. The winner will be announced on Monday 9th April 2012.
In the meantime, be on the lookout for the call out for the April/May Short Story Callout. Hint: Think Conspiracies.
As we await all of the above, here’s a short note to all of you creative writers!
Read, Read, Read, Read…
Getting your work published will be a challenge whether you are a new or experienced writer. Each new book comes with challenges that can be so frustrating on their own you might just want to give up on your writing.
So, you want to get your fiction, technical material, poetry out there? What can you do to make things easier for yourself during the pre-published journey?
The answer I always give when people ask me this question is: Read.
1. Read Constantly. Read for your own enjoyment. Read to learn. Read to relax. Pick out a book that covers a topic you are interested in. Pick out a book that arouses your emotions. Make it a goal to read as much and as widely as possible. Be aware of your environment and how the rest of the world looks at it. There is nothing as pathetic as a writer who does not read.
2. Read up on writing skills. Don’t assume at any time that you have nothing new to learn with regards to grammar usage, literary styles and devices or technical writing guidelines. Your work must be well written and have value naturally. Don’t forget that it must also be genuine and sincere for optimum chance with today’s editors. That sincerity can only be achieved if you are confident in the medium and language you are using to present it.
3. Read for research. Make sure that all of your facts and information are correct. Make sure that when you are submitting a piece of work or a query, that you have the correct editor’s name, department, and company address on the envelope. Use whatever resources necessary to attend to these kinds of details, be it the internet, library, masthead, or calling the publication and outright asking for a current editor’s name. This kind of attention to detail marks you as a professional. Be an informed submitter!
4. Read submission Guidelines. It’s exciting to complete a project or article, and of course, you want to see your beautiful words in print, but don’t get so over zealous that you forget to be smart about submitting. Get familiar with your market and the publications you want to target, and send out your work appropriately. Editors are not stupid, they can spot a random mass mailing of a manuscript right away.
5. Read People. You are going to have to network with a lot of people, editors, readers, reviewers… Ensure a congenial relationship with editors and other people you network with, by being polite and pleasant in all of your dealings. You may not get an acceptance the first time you submit to an editor, but if you are friendly and professional, you can bet that editor will remember and consider your next submission happily.
No, it still won’t happen in your sleep, but work hard enough and you will see it happen!