Fantastic article: teaches you how to be PROFESSIONAL with your writing. If you’re ever tempted to argue with an editor — DON’T, if you’re not under contract. Even if you are under contract, never, ever stoop to trying to justify your words. Your words are what count, and only your words. Make them better. You can’t sit at a reader’s shoulder, muttering: “Here’s what you should be thinking…”
I’m not going to review the obvious here — reading guidelines, polishing and proofreading your work, etc. — on the assumption that you’ve already got it covered. This is about how to be someone an editor wants to work with.
Let’s start by assuming that you’re a good (or at least competent) writer, able to produce work at a level suitable for the magazine or publishing house you want to build a relationship with. No amount of schmoozing or game-playing is going to get you there if you’re not up to standard; there’s no secret way around that. And, fortunately or unfortunately, you still need to get noticed by the editors (whether with an acceptance, a revision request, or an “encouraging” rejection that indicates interest in seeing more of your work) on the strength of your writing. But from there, you can become a writer editors see as a pleasure…
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