March 15, 2015

The R Word---Revision

What would you do if an editor asked you for a revision? Would you:

A.  Shelf the piece 
B.  Send it off to another editor
C.  Follow up and revise

When I get a submission for Kid’s Imagination Train that has potential, I email writers to let them know that with a little editing, their work will likely be published.  I point out the strong parts of the piece and then discuss the portion that needs revising.  For instance   in nonfiction, a writer may need to conclude the article with a tie-in to the beginning.         In fiction, a writer may need to develop a true conflict closer to the start of the piece. With poems, writers may have to edit for rhythm and rhyme.

There are times however, when writers never follow up.  It’s puzzling.  Writers should understand that when an editor asks for a revision, she is interested in their work.  That means it's time to revise.  And this process should not be dreaded.  Think of it this way: effort has been spent creating an article or a story or a poem with the possibility of publication, so go the extra mile and spend just a little more time editing.

Most of the time, writers will comply.  They get it.  They will do what it takes, drawing on the editor’s suggestions and working to improve their submissions.  They know the goal is not to rush the process and submit, but to take their time and revise so that they will produce a polished manuscript. As an editor, it's a joy to know that writers realize the worth of revision.  In fact, one writer told me: "I would be happy to revise.  Editing is always welcome because there is always room for improvement."  I couldn't have said it better.

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