Celebrating East African Writing!

The Editor’s Vote

So you have submitted your finished manuscript to an editor. What now? Many a young/ novice writer have come to this point. Generally, every writer receives a rejection letter or email with their first submission. I can tell you of my frustration and even ire at receiving a rejection note. So what? Give up?

Try again, this time better!

I thought it might be a good idea to explore the options. One of them is presented in an article that I received from Let’s see…


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.

  1. Read the complete guidelines of the publication and try your level best to comply with 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. Don’t shrink from future submissions if you are rejected once by an editor. You just need to do it better and win.
  8. 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.

Good Luck!

Ernest Dempsey

Ernest Dempsey is the author of four published books and numerous individual writings published both online and in print. He is currently an assistant editor at the Loving Healing Press (Michigan) and the editor of their print quarterly Recovering the Self (

Just before we move into the readings, I have a little announcement from

We would like to advertise all you writers and poets on without any costs on your part. For this to happen, please send your profile and details of all events that you organise or participate in to and we shall post the same on our website.

That said, we go to this week’s reading just a tiny bit late, but we have no doubt that as always you will enjoy the pieces showcased today.

We have an old timer on the blog, coming back for a visit, a musical horror visit. Do Re Mi So La Ti Do by Anthony Chambira: He grins, perfect row of gleaming white teeth. “Ndiuma na uuru… I have no ill intentions…sina ubaya lete tu kile ulicho nacho.”

And then we have newcomer to the blog, landing here for the first time with a quest. Tell me your Thoughts by Savvy Kenya: It’s not easy being pregnant in college. It’s not the fact that you are always broke, unless of course you are a girl who does not mind having a boyfriend older than Adam with lots of dough.

Next we have a story about someone we all see and never see. Invisible by Rayhab Gachango: You take the packets and give me a twenty bob. You don’t even look at my face. You don’t care. I am not your responsibility.

We close today’s readings with the new age debate Adam vs Eve – It’s just so over: If you have to milk her hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes out of her then she is indeed not interested!

Thank you for your continued support. If you would like your story to feature here, please send in your work to refer to the blog submission guidelines here.

Join us here on Monday for the next batch of stories and be sure to vote for the next Story of the Week.

Have a grand week!



This entry was posted on April 5, 2010 by in Writing and tagged , , , .
%d bloggers like this: