Writing Advice

This category contains 6 posts

Submitting Your Work Part 5: Professionalism

You’ve written your masterpiece, your short story, poem, or novel; you’ve sweated blood crafting the work, redrafting and redrafting. It’s time to unleash it on an unsuspecting public. There’s only one thing standing between you and fame: the editor and/or first/slush reader of the publication or publisher. It can be frustrating to have your work … Continue reading

Submitting Your Work Part 4: Writing Synopses

Many writers will agree that writing synopses is something they have difficulty doing. There is quite a bit of confusion as to what exactly a synopsis is. Why is it required? How do you go about writing one? It’s common knowledge that a synopsis is a summary of the story a writer has written and … Continue reading

Submitting Your Work Part 3: Cover Letters

Cover letters are a curious creature. Editors generally pay scarce attention to them, certainly if they accompany a short story submission to a magazine, anthology or webzine. And yet they are nearly always a submission requirement. A sure way to put an editor’s nose out of joint is to post or email a submission with … Continue reading

Submitting Your Work Part 2: Read the F*****g Guidelines!

I thought long and hard before including the word ‘F*****g’ in the title of this second part of my occasional series on submitting work to publishers; reason being I didn’t want to be seen as potentially disparaging towards the vast majority of writers who do go the trouble of checking out the guidelines to a … Continue reading

Submitting Your Work: Start at the Top

It’s a commonly accepted concept that writers starting out begin by submitting stories to lesser known publications and, as they build a profile for themselves, work their way up over time to more prestigious venues for fiction, the idea being that all the while they are honing their craft and becoming better writers. And on … Continue reading

Editing As You Go: Why You Shouldn’t

There’s a minor character in Albert Camus’ brilliant novel The Plague who spends years and years agonising over the structure and wording of the opening sentence of a novel he plans to write. He’s torn between a multitude of variations of the sentence, convinced that if he can just get that one sentence right the … Continue reading