Study the classics and contemporary works in your genre.
Consider what draws readers to a particular poem, story, article, or book.
Study publications you like to read. Get familiar with magazines, e-zines, journals, and book catalogues of publishers whose work you like.
Consider any potential gaps that your story, poem, article or book might fill.
Plan your work before you begin. Decide on a theme, purpose, and reading audience.
Research each topic thoroughly.
Outline each article or nonfiction book. Write a synopsis of your novel in present tense.
Let your writing flow without criticizing yourself. Let your work rest. Later read those pages as if someone else had written them.
Identify each problem. When you see a problem, you may see a solution too.
Revise to make the manuscript your best work before you try to place it with one editor at a time.
Follow writers’ guidelines carefully as you submit your manuscript. When using the postal service for a submission, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) to cover its potential return.
Keep track of where, when, and to whom you mailed your work.
While you’re waiting to hear from the editor, query other editors about your next idea.
Start researching and planning another project.
(c) 2010, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved.