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We’ve written our first draft and edited the project to death. Time for a final review prior to submission. Some things to check:

  • Check your word count – If you are submitting for a specific market that has a specific word count, then now is not the time to miss this important element. On a whim I submitted a 3K word story to a 1K word contest. No shocker it wasn’t accepted.
  • Formatting– Does your manuscript meet the formatting requirements? Though some editors may want something different, the norm appears to be:
    • 1″ margins
    • Courier or Times New Roman
    • 12pt font
    • double-spaced
  • Query Letter – There are books completely dedicated to how to write a successful query letter. Get your hands on one and apply the advice.
  • Back Cover Blurb – Remember we did this in the Initializing Phase?! Well you’ll be asked to pull from this when submitting your work, so have it ready.
  • Just let it go! – If there is a scene or paragraph in your book you felt strongly about keeping but all the critic feedback said remove it….then remove it. Cut and paste it into your idea folder. Keep it as you may find a future piece is better suited to highlight that piece of wondrous inspiration.
  • Target your market– Figure out who you are going to submit to and any requirements they may need for submissions. Many markets don’t appreciate simultaneous submissions, so make a list and prioritize based on your goals or the following:
    • Pay – The difference in 1 cent per word vs 5 cents per word can add up quickly!
    • Response from Editor – If one editor isn’t going to get back to you for 8 months but another in 8 weeks, I’d pick the later. This way you can quickly submit to another market if the response isn’t favorable
    • Publish time frame – Don’t submit a story for the Spring issue in spring. Timing your submission to when your content may be published can increase it’s chances
    • Rights – Are you giving away all your rights or only first print edition? Depending on your goals and what you want to do with your writing project afterwards may greatly determine going with one publisher over another
    • Submit your work and track your submissions – There are numerous, simple excel documents that help you track this information; Google one for download or make your own.

Exercise: Complete the final review and submit your work

Next Post: Accomplishments

Set the timer for 10-minutes and try this writing prompt.

Writing prompt #0021


Write about struggle with weight management.

It may be from your the perspective of your own struggle, that of a friend / family member or a fictional character.