October 1, 2012

Submitting, Again

Congratulations!  You submitted an article to a children’s magazine and it was accepted for publication.  As you write your next article for the same publication, consider this piece of advice:  Be professional when you submit again. 

For example, one of my science articles was published in an outstanding children’s publication.   Thinking I could write another piece for the magazine, I simply queried the editor very informally.  Think:  a one line snappy email pitch.  She immediately wrote back to me and berated me for not following the guidelines (which stated to send a professional query with clips). I thought since she had published one of my pieces that I didn’t need to be so formal.  Wrong.  So wrong.  

Editors have preferences when it comes to submitting.  Some want a professional query each time you write to them that includes specific details like a bio or clips, while other editors will consider a more casual letter.  

Every time you query, formal or not, always include the basics:  the title, the word count, the age group, the submission date, and a brief synopsis of the article. Always read the guidelines. They may have changed since your last article was published.  And just because you’ve published before with a publication doesn’t give you a green light to submit informally.  Some editors just won't stand for it, as I found out.  In the end the editor refused to consider my work again.  This is a harsh example, and I’m willing to bet a rare case.  But use this example as food for thought.  Unless you know it’s okay to write a casual letter, play it safe:  stick to writing a professional query.

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