December 1, 2014

The Subject Line

Writer's guidelines.  Every magazine has them.  But I'm trying to understand why some writers fail to observe them.  Do writers simply forget to read the guidelines?  Do some feel entitled to skip them if they are published authors?   

The writer's guidelines will usually state how an article or story should be presented to an editor. This includes the way an editor wants the subject line of an electronic submission to read.  For Kids' Imagination Train, we would like to see the author's last name, the genre and the title in the subject line.  

Writers must always follow the guidelines.  And that includes having the correct wording in the subject line for an electronic submission. As cruel as it may seem, your work might get deleted or find its way into a spam folder if the subject line is not worded as specified.
Whether you pen fiction or nonfiction, you are well aware of the work that goes into writing for children. Nonfiction writers spend hours finding sources, reading them, taking notes, writing the piece and then editing it.  They spend time trying to find an expert to review the manuscript. Likewise, fiction writers spend hours crafting stories that demand conciseness, simplicity, and a visual sense.  They too, must edit and revise.  So with the mountains of time invested, why would writers take the chance of having their work trashed simply because they failed to follow one little step?  
As silly and as persnickety as it might sound, the subject line of an email submission must be stated exactly as requested.  You must pay attention to this little detail, because if you fail to do so, your precious manuscript that you spent oodles of time on may never get read.  And no writer wants to walk down that path.  I've said it before and I'll say it again (and again).  Review the writers' guidelines.  Pay attention to what is required for the subject line.  Doing this little step correctly should guarantee that your hard work will get into the hands of an editor.  

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