March 24, 2014

Where's the Fire?

What would you do if an editor said, “I’d like to publish your work.”  You’d probably be screaming and fist-pumping with excitement.  What if she added, “First, you’ll need to do some editing.”  How do you feel now?

If it were me, I’d say, “Sure, show me what needs to be revised."  And, I’d work hard to get the piece up to the editor's standards. But lately, I have noticed that when I ask writers for a revision and give them suggestions for editing, I don’t get nearly the same response.  Sometimes they send their article/story/poem back the day after I've asked for a revision. This makes me think that the author is not giving the story or article the time it deserves. Other times, I may never hear back from the author.  When I work with writers like these, I find myself asking: where is the fire, that desire and passion to follow up on revising a submission and making it the best it can be? 

It’s funny.  It seems to me that some writers today have changed.  Their attitudes come across as indifferent, smug.  They don’t want to develop true conflict or tie-in the closing to the beginning.  They don't want to put the effort into finding an expert to review their work.  They could care less if the bibliography is insufficient or poorly formatted. They want an acceptance without having to make any changes to their manuscript. Sorry, that’s not how writing for publication works.  Writing requires revision and I know of few writers who get their work published without thorough editing.

Luckily, I have found this attitude in only a few writers.  The majority know that when an editor is interested in publishing a story or an article, they jump on it and edit their work. They understand the value of revision. And they work hard to deliver what is required. They also know that when they give an editor what she wants, they not only have a better chance of seeing their work in print, they will have created additional opportunities for future manuscripts to be eagerly and warmly received.  

March 17, 2014

Writer's Contest

Heads up all contemporary middle grade writers.  Check out this great contest:  Deadline is March 18th.  Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to ($50 value)!