Are You Ready To Submit Your Work For Publication?

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 5th Nov 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Writing

Are you ready to submit your work for publication? That may seem like a simple question, but it isn't all that easy to answer. There are many factors that you have to consider before answering it.


I think that it's safe to say that almost everyone, at one time or another, has thought about becoming a writer. Many of those people have actually tried but failed to make the cut. Anyone can write, but not everyone that writes become published writers. Many aspiring writers fail to make the transition from aspiring writer to the writer because they started submitting their work before they should have.
Are you ready to submit your work? How you answer the following question will enable you to answer that question with authority.

Question #1: How many stories or articles have you completed?

If you have only one article or story completed, you aren't ready to start submitting your work for publication. Editors reject manuscript queries for many different reasons, one of the reasons being that they have just committed themselves to another writer for an article on the exact subject you queried them on. Depending on how professional your query letter was, in such case, the editor might just write a note and attach it to the form rejection letter. The note might say something like this: “We have an article on your topic already in the works, but we would be interested in reviewing an article on ….(you fill in the blank).” If you queried the “Handyman” magazine's feature editor on publishing your article on “How to Rough In Electrical Wiring,” he may not need it. He might have need for on “How to Install An Appliance Whip On A Dryer," and if you have a half dozen or a dozen articles of the type found in that magazine already finished, you might have the exact article that the editor wants. If you query a magazine department editor about doing a new column for his or her department, he or she is going to want to see at least six finished columns.

Question #2: Are you ready to devote the time needed for the administrative details?

There's market research, locating the right market to submit your work to. Once you have found the perfect magazine for your story or article, you have to get the name of the right editor to send your query letter to. Very few publications accepts over the transom manuscripts these days. Send an unrequested manuscript and it will end up at the bottom of the slush pile or in the paper shredder. Market research involves reading the magazines that you want to write for. Most writers subscribe to the magazines that they submit to on a regular bases. By reading the magazines, you learn their editorial style. By reading the magazine regularly, you learn what they have published in recent issues, so you don't waste your time and the editor's time by querying them on an article that they have already published.

Once you start submitting articles or stories for publication, you have to track those submissions and the responses you received on those submissions. Above all, learning how to use the rejections that come your way in such a way that you become a better writer is the factor that separates the professional writer from the amateur.

Question #3: Has your work been critiqued?

Have you been read? Have you received feedback on what you have written? This is a critical stage in every professional writer's development. Publishing what you have written first on sites like Wikinut is a terrific way to receive feedback from your readers. Most of us who have already made our mark as a published writer, write for Wikinut because we enjoy the community and want to help those just starting out. Constructive criticism will help you grow as a writer and will help you improve what you write.

Question #4: Have you done your research?

Doing your research means reading the magazines that you want to write for. You need to read all the issues for the previous six months before querying an editor on an article or story idea, so you don't pitch the editor on an idea that has already been done during that period of time. Personally, I subscribe to all the publications that I write for, but if you can't afford to subscribe to them, you can still find them and read them at your brick and mortar library.

Doing your research means having a copy of Writer's Market and Short Story and Novel Marketing Guide on your bookshelf. These books are updated every year, and you need to have the latest revision. The Writer's Market Guide and the Short Story and Novel Marketing Guide are both available on CD. I keep the latest editions of both the print versions and the CD versions. The print versions provide a handy place to keep track of changes in editors, phone numbers, Etc.

Question #5: Can you handle rejection?

You need to be able to handle rejection in a professional manner. What does that mean? It means that you can't take having your work rejected personally. There's nothing personal about rejection, at least not in the majority of cases. If you react with anger and shoot the editor off a scorching email, it will become personal remarkably quickly. Editors are human beings. If you get on the bad side of an editor by your unprofessional conduct, they may just go out of their way to find something wrong with anything you send them in the future. Manuscripts and query ideas are rejected for a wide range of reasons, and it doesn't necessarily mean that the editor thinks you are a lousy writer. Rejection letters can be your greatest tool for growing as a writer if you use them as a learning tool.

Were you able to answer yes to each of the foregoing questions? If you were able to, then you are ready to submit your work for publication. You may think that you have already been published because your article appeared on Wikinut. In the technical sense of the word, you have, but not in the sense that I mean it. There are other sites that might or might not accept you as a writer, sites like Demand Studios and Experts123 where you have to apply to become a writer. Both Demand Studios and Experts123 have a formal application that you have to fill out as well as submit samples of your writing for their perusal before you can write for them. They do this because they are professional Work For Hire (WFH) sites that provide material to their clients for publications. If you make the cut, you can earn anywhere from $10 to $30 for every 400 to 600 word article they accept from you. Unlike sites like Wikinut, where you can write about anything, with WFH sites you write to the tittles they supply. Make sure that you are ready before applying to these sites. If they turn your application down because of the quality of your writing samples, you will have to wait a specified period of time before you can apply again.

Write for Wikinut and get paid!


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Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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author avatar James R. Coffey
5th Nov 2010 (#)

Fantastic presentation, Jerry. Excellent checklist for any writer! TWEET!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
5th Nov 2010 (#)

I have a hard time with rejection. I have to admit it.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Nov 2010 (#)

Thanks James.

I think that we all do, Mark, to one degree or another. It a lot like fear. Everyone is afraid of something. That's normal human behavior. The fact that we are afraid doesn't matter. What matter is how we handle the fear. Do we control our fears or do we let the fears control us. The brave man has fears but he has learned how to make his fears work for him instead of against him. The successful writer has learned how to make the anger and hurt that rejections generate within him for him instead of against him.

I work harder to produce the kind of copy my editors want so I don't have to suffer the slings and arrows of rejection and it works. In the past year, I have only had four articles rejected outright.

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author avatar TheMovieScene
5th Nov 2010 (#)

Brilliantly useful article for anyone looking to move into writing for publications highlighting that it really is not as simple as just putting pen to paper.

I've often wondered if I've got what it takes but in my area of expertise I am still a relative novice.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Nov 2010 (#)

Judging by the review that I have read, you're learning very quickly, TheMovieScene.

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author avatar LOVERME
5th Nov 2010 (#)

sorry for the intervention
as there is
no messaging system over here
can u guide me please.

my canon camera
is not working
every time we operate it it says
lens error restart camera
and a ringing sound comes
what can i do
u may answer here
i'll open this article again thanks
and sorry too

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author avatar Jerry Walch
6th Nov 2010 (#)

@Love Me. You didn't say what kind of Canon camera that you have, point and shoot or DSLR. I also don't know if your camera has a rechargeable battery or uses regular batteries. There really isn't much that you can do. If it's a DSLR, it has interchangeable lenses and you need to check to see that the lens is mounted correctly. Did you try recharging or replacing the batteries? Other than those things the only other option you have to take the camera to a camera store for servicing. If you end up having to take it in for repair, make sure you get an estimate on how much the repair will cost you before you give them the go ahead to repair it. You may find that the cost of having it fixed is more than the camera is worth.

Hope this helps.

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author avatar Retired
6th Nov 2010 (#)

this is great, and i think I am of the rejection scares me mindset.
I think i shall go to demand studios and start there, best place to begin right?

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author avatar Jerry Walch
6th Nov 2010 (#)

@Rebecca Both Demand Studios and Experts123 are good places to start. The editors at Demand Studios are more demanding than the Editors at Experts123 but the Studios provide an enormous amount of help to new writers. I've been with Demand Studios for a couple of years and in all that time I've only had three article rejected. When you first start out with Demand Studios you can expect the editors send articles back for rewrites but they are include detailed note about what you need to do to make the article acceptable.

One really neat thing about Demand Studio is that they provide you with a scorecard that grades your grammar and research. It gives you a visual indication of your growth as a writer and your reputation with the Studio.

I would suggest that you pick up a copy of the Associated Press Style Book and familiarize yourself with it. You can pick up a paperback copy from Amazon for about $10 or so. Many WFH sites are going to AP Style now.

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author avatar aden kendroemen
6th Nov 2010 (#)

Good read Jerry, thank you for the useful information. I will use it to my best advantage.

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author avatar pjh76
6th Nov 2010 (#)

Thank you Jerry for the great information. It is always good to read articles like this to remind us if we are working on the right stuff.

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author avatar Paul Lines
6th Nov 2010 (#)

You certainly provide a really wonderful path for others to follow Jerry

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author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Nov 2010 (#)

Thank you Paul, Aden and pjh76.

Welcome to Wikinut pjh76.

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

In one word...NO!
I'm not ready yet.
Great check list Jerry.
Top notch job my friend.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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