October 29, 2014

Multiple/Simultaneous Submissions

Do you know the difference between multiple submissions and simultaneous submissions? Though some people use the words interchangeably, there is a difference between the terms.  In the case of a multiple submission, a writer sends several different manuscripts to one editor.  In other words, an editor may end up with two or more pieces from one writer. Conversely, a simultaneous submission is when a writer sends the same manuscript to different editors. This means that your story is being considered by more than one editor.

It's important to understand the difference and know if multiple or simultaneous  submissions are accepted.  Your work might get rejected if you send an editor multiple submissions when the guidelines state otherwise.  So it's your job to find out if what is permitted.  

For instance, Kid's Imagination Train has a small staff so we don't accept multiple submissions or simultaneous submissions and we state that in our guidelines.  But that doesn't mean that everyone adheres to the rule.  Once, a writer sent a very nice poem which was accepted for publication in KIT.  Since the piece required a little editing, I worked on the revision for a few days.  And then, the author retracted the poem.  The explanation:  another publication had excepted the piece.  The author had submitted her work simultaneously.  I was not a happy editor—my time was spent editing a piece that KIT will not be able to use.

Be sure to find out what an editor prefers before submitting.  If multiple and/or simultaneous submissions are permitted, you will get the chance to have your work and lots of it considered by editors.  But when the guidelines state that an editor does not want multiple or simultaneous submissions, then follow those requirements.  That way, you will know exactly what to submit and how to target editors who may be interested in publishing your work. 

October 7, 2014

More Tips for Writing Nonfiction for Kids

In July, I had written a blog that had tips for writing nonfiction for children.  I’d like to add a few more.  The following came to mind after I edited an article and a book.   

*Write in the present or past tense.  Avoid using the future tense if the wording can be expressed in the past tense.  Example: She would become a great athlete.  Better:  She became a great athlete.

 *Look up words in a dictionary if you are not sure if they need to be hyphenated.  Check out the links below to discover extra tips on using hyphens: 

*Dig deep when you research your topic.  Go beyond what is presented in encyclopedias or on the Internet.  Aim for primary sources.  Editors love primary sources.

*If you include an organization that is known by initials or an acronym, spell out the name of that organization. If it is not well known, give one sentence to describe the essence of the organization.

*Read your article out loud.  Really!  You will be surprised how many grammatical errors you may catch.

Before you submit manuscript to an editor, edit it thoroughly.  Put it away for a few days and read it again with fresh eyes.  Have someone you trust take a look at your work. Review the tips in the July blog and follow the tips listed above to help your writing get stronger and to make your manuscript shine.  

Do you have any tips for writing nonfiction for kids?  I welcome you to leave a comment.