May 15, 2016

Should You Make Multiple Submissions?

You've written several stories, and you want to submit all of them to a children's magazine.  However, when you review the guidelines you find that the publication doesn't accept multiple submissions.  That means you can only send one submission at a time.'re tempted.  Wouldn't sending all of your stories increase your chance of an acceptance because there would be more to choose from?

The truth is, sending multiple submissions to a publication that doesn't accept them usually backfires (unless the editor is in a generous mood.)  Disregarding the guidelines is something I wouldn't recommend.  It's unprofessional, and it will most likely annoy an editor. 

You may ask what's the big deal?  Why don't some publications accept multiple submissions?  For Kid’s Imagination Train, the reason is straightforward.  We are a small publication with one editor and no assistant to help read the submissions.  So sending multiple submissions can be overwhelming.  Each submission takes time to be analyzed to see if it’s a good fit for KIT.  Most every submission needs thoughtful editing.  Those writers whose submissions need a revision are given detailed suggestions to help improve their work.  Then those revisions are read again for possible publication in KIT. 

So what can you do if you've written several stories and you want to submit to a publication doesn't accept multiple submissions?  It's easy.  Send your favorite piece. Be patience as you wait to hear back.  In some cases, an editor may reply that your work needs some editing.  Revise your manuscript and resubmit.  After the editor makes a final decision, then and only then, it will be safe to submit another story. 

May 1, 2016

Writing on the Left Side of Your Brain

Admit it.  Sometimes you don't feel like writing.  No worries.  We all feel this way from time to time. 

Perhaps you're distracted by something that is weighing on your mind.  Maybe you've had a nasty interaction with a relative, or a neighbor, or even a stranger.  Maybe there is an overwhelming problem at work or a social situation that you want no part of.  No matter the reason, being consumed with a negative circumstance drowns your creativity.  You may find it difficult to find focus.  You want to write, know you should write, but you are not interested in writing. You can’t engage the right side of your brain, the part of your brain responsible for being creative and artistic.  

Don’t despair.  You can get some writing in by using the left side of your brain.  The left side of the brain is used for analytical and logical tasks.  Here's some things that you can do:

Write query letters
Write in a journal
Compose a blog entry
Respond to emails
Edit some of your work
Make a list of your writing goals
Make a list of books you want to read
Study the writer's markets
Update your social media profile

After you’ve used the left side of your brain for a while, you may realize how productive you’ve been.  You haven’t had time to think about any negative situation.  In fact, your problems may have diminished (or you at least know how to tackle them.)  You may even discover you are less distracted.  Using the left side may renew your focus so that you are able to concentrate better.  You may feel more energized and quite possibly in the mood to create with the right side of your brain.