May 28, 2014

Revising


If you are a frequent visitor to Children's Writers World, you know that I make suggestions to writers on their submissions to Kid's Imagination Train.  Usually, writers will revise their work.  But sometimes, writers never respond—which I don't understand. Are they arrogant?  Lazy?  I believe that when an editor takes the time to write to you and point out ways to improve your article, you should try your best to meet those needs.  

I take it as a compliment when an editor writes to me wanting a revision.  For instance, an editor at Highlights for Children magazine expressed interest in one of my articles, but pointed out that my manuscript needed some editing.  First, he wanted more details about a historical event that related to my topic. Realizing that would require more research, I read about six more sources to understand the event better.  Once I grasped the history, I included this new information in my article.     

The editor also wanted some clarification on the scientific research that I had been presented.  So, I contacted the expert whom I had interviewed.  In my email, I mentioned the title of my article, the name of the magazine interested in publishing my work, and the point in question.  She promptly wrote back with a great explanation. This too, was added to the piece.

Lastly, the editor wanted age-appropriate vocabulary.  He explained that some of my word choices were too advanced for the audience.  In fact, he actually listed each word (I know of no other editor who would have taken the time to be so specific). I referred to the thesaurus Children’s Writer’s Word Book by Alijandra Mogilner.  By using this book, I was able to find words that better suited the age group. 

The revision would not be rushed, even though I was eager to get the piece back to the editor. I read it over and over and then handed it to my second reader (my husband) for his opinion.  I edited it one more time.  Feeling that the manuscript was ready, I slipped it into an envelope and marked the outside: “requested revision.”  It will probably be several months before I hear whether or not the piece will be accepted for publication. But I feel good about the article. It was well-researched, well-written, and well-edited.  I know I gave my very best to meet the editor's needs.  


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