Sunday, 28 February 2010

Submissions & Explanations

sorry this post is a bit late but I've had one of those weeks. Nothing big happened but my time seeped away like a spring tide.

I hope you like the photo above, it was taken across the river Shin below Lairg. There will be more on Scotland later but for now I'd like to start with some writing advice.

Simultaneous Submissions

This is often the subject of much debate and time wasting. Those who advocate submitting one article at a time and waiting for it to be rejected before sending it elsewhere are living in another world - probably cloud cuckoo land - so ignore them.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with sending the same submission to several magazines at the same time. You've got to consider that some magazines will hold onto an article for over three months before replying so that isn’t going to help you.

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but you must follow this rule. Keep a list of all magazines that you sent the article to, and if it is accepted by one of them, inform the others and ask them to send back or destroy your submission.

Once an article has been published you are quite at liberty to sell it again but you must inform the magazine that it has already been published, in which magazine and when. To be honest, I’ve never bother submitting the same article to other magazines because they just look upon it as yesterday's news. After all, why would they want to print something that their competitors have already used?

So if you have a good idea for an article, check out the magazines you think it would be suitable for, then write it in an appropriate style. After you've honed it to perfection, you can send it to as many magazines as you see fit. Just make sure you keep a record of those you've sent it to, so that you can take appropriate action.

Don't submit to one magazine at a time unless you want to be collecting your pension before you get published.

More advice on various writing topics will be discussed in my new book which should be ready for publication in April 2010. Please watch this blog or check out my website for more details.

Speaking of my website, I have included another short story that you can read at your leisure. It is a Ghost Story and a bit of a departure for me. It isn't a genre I'm comfortable with and it must show in the writing and I think that's why it didn't get published.
Peace in the Valley
Take a look and see what you think, clean comments on it or any of the other stories are welcome.

The photo above was taken near Loch Leathan, in Argyll.
I reckon that with so many pictures of Scotland appearing on this blog that you could be forgiven for thinking that I'm from that neck of the woods. Well I'm not, my father's side of the family are all English although there was some sort of Fench connection way back. My mother came from Finland so there are no links down that side of the family either.

So there isn't any strange back to my roots stuff going on. Scotland is just a beautiful place that also just happens to be more peaceful than England and that is what attracts me to it.

Don't get me wrong about England, I'm proud to be English even though the country seems to be on a downhill spiral. "Things are starting to slide, slide in all directions," are the words of Leonard Cohen and I think they describe England perfectly.

When I give these posts to my wife to proofread, she gets the jitters, because I'm always banging on about the beauty of Scotland, she thinks I have some secret notion to go and live there.

Well I don't and here's the reason why. If I lived there I'd have nowhere to go for my holidays.

I'll leave you with a picture of Loch Etive. Near Oban.

Anglers, my next post will be about fishing and will follow this one shortly.

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