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The next Children's Writer's World post will be on June 15th.

October 11, 2015

The 5 Senses on a Summer Walk

The temperatures are dropping in Kentucky and we're sliding into autumn.  It's a nice break from the heat because during the summer, it was 80° at mid-morning with the humidity steadily climbing.  I walked for an hour early in the day before it got too sticky.

These are the five senses on a hot muggy summer morning before I sat down to write:

I hear:
the rattle of cicadas
the cheerful song of the cardinal
the screech of a bluejay
a neighbor saying "good morning"

I smell:
damp soil
strong fragrant lilies
sweet clover
the steamy, humid air

I feel:
a cool light breeze
the warm sun
the splash of a puddle against my leg
feathery-soft ornamental grass

I see:
American flags waving
oak leaves fluttering
a pale, washed-out blue sky
squirrels scurrying up trees
all kinds of mushrooms: creamy, fire-engine red, mousy-brown, cup-shaped

I taste:
Nothing yet until I head back for my favorite French roast coffee


October 1, 2015

Impressing an Editor

What is one of the most important steps you should take when sending a submission to an editor?  Include a proper cover letter with your submission. Whether you submit electronically or by snail mail, it's common courtesy to always include one. Sending a resume or a list of published work instead of a cover letter is inappropriate. 

The letter should be addressed to the editor.  Try to find her name under the sections About Us, Writers' Guidelines, or  Contact Us.  If you are unsuccessful, then a letter addressed 'Dear Editor' will do.      

Review your cover letter before sending it to a publisher.  Once, I received an email addressed to an editor of another publication.  Clearly, the writer didn’t proofread her cover letter.  In addition, it made me wonder if she sent the same letter to other editors along with her manuscript.  At Kid's Imagination Train, we don’t accept simultaneous submissions.  Were other editors considering this piece besides me? 

Here is a good way to craft a cover letter:

1st paragraph:  Tell the editor what you are submitting.  Give the title, the genre, and the word count of your manuscript. 

2nd paragraph:  Describe the content of the article or the plot of the story in about one to three sentences. 

3rd paragraph:  Present a short biography that includes relevant credentials and your publishing history.

4th paragraph:  Close by thanking the editor for her time.  

That's all you have to do.  Keep it short and sweet.  Remember to include your contact information.  When you write a proper cover letter, it will impress an editor.  It will show her that you are are professional and that you take submitting seriously. 

The next blog entry for CWW will be published Oct.11, rather than Oct. 15.