Submissions and editing make up two categories that tend to give new writers the most trouble. They’re also inextricably linked. In order to succeed in landing submissions, one must edit and polish their work well.
Today’s Tuesday Tips are brought to you by Writer’s Digest and Galley Cat, both excellent resources for writers. In the following categories we’ve highlighted some very insightful information when it comes to submitting to literary magazines and editing your work. If you want to better prepare your stories for the eyes of editors and readers, check it out:
In Galley Cat’s article, a top editor discusses what it takes to land a publication among the best literary magazines. She says:
“From the literary side, I would have to say the quality of writing, style, and characterization are almost always valued over plot and storyline. Individual aesthetics will vary wildly from magazine to magazine, but if we’re talking about literary publications in general (Tin House, Paris Review, One Story, etc), then there will certainly be a baseline expectation about the quality of writing and depth of characterization. I’m sure these standards and expectations change, however, when you’re talking about genre magazines.”
To read more submission tips from Galley Cat, click here.
In order to edit well you must be self-critical, but not too self-critical, and you must tighten your work, unless of course, that particular passage needs more. But how to tell the difference? Take a look at some of the advice in the following article from Writer’s Digest:
“Not all revision reduces to cutting, obviously. The admonition ‘less is more’ carries the implicit addendum: unless it’s not enough.
This requires an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Sometimes, where you’re weak—be it in setting, pacing, backstory—the text will seem lackluster, wanting. Here especially trusted readers—or an unerring ear—come in handy. They can feel the empty spaces better than you.
But it’s not true that you must master all or settle for nothing. Ballantine editor Mark Tavani urges his writers to ‘forget their weaknesses and attack their strengths.’ No writer is skilled at everything, nor should he try to be, and each will bring his particular virtues to the page.”
For more from the article, click here.