Creative Writing Submissions Etiquette

Discussion in 'Lit Articles Database' started by MsJacquiiC, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. MsJacquiiC

    Poetica Magnifique Staff Member
    Jun 8, 2006
    Literary agents and editors are faced with mountains of fiction submissions on a daily basis. Creative writers know it’s tough to get their poetry, short fiction, and novels published, but there are things [bimg=fleft|275|If you’re making submissions to literary agents and editors, the etiquette tips below can help you avoid embarrassing mistakes that just might take you out of the game before you’ve even started.|inside][/bimg]you can do to increase your chances of getting more acceptances. Knowing the etiquette of submitting your writing to literary agents, publishers, and editors of literary journals is key.

    When submitting your fiction to agents or editors, always follow the submission guidelines to the letter for the specific literary agent or editor you’re approaching, or you risk losing the opportunity to have your work seriously considered.

    The following are a few pointers (based on our experience since 1994) that can help you avoid the slush pile.

    The Don'ts:
    1. Do NOT bind your manuscript in any way (no staples or clips).
    2. Do NOT force a literary agent or editor to sign for your package, query letter, or any delivery. This is an inconvenience. First-class mail is fine.
    3. Do NOT send your only copy of your manuscript. Be certain you have another hard copy and a backup file or three.
    4. Do NOT annoy editors and agents by calling or e-mailing them to verify they received your package.
    The Do's:
    1. DO include your SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) with every submission. Send only a business-sized envelope (#10) with appropriate postage for a response.
    2. DO thoroughly research your markets. Check Web sites, market books, send for guidelines, or have a reputable submission service like Writer’s Relief do it for you. Avoid agents or editors who require “reading fees” or any up-front money.
    3. DO become familiar with submission terminology.
    4. DO your best to comply with requests from agents and editors. An agent or editor does not want to sign a contract with someone who is difficult to work with.
    [ Source: Writers Relief ]

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