When we started this adventure, we hoped that we’d be able to give people personalized feedback. Unfortunately, we’ve already achieved a level of incoming submissions where that is not possible.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t or won’t do it as often as possible.
Given that, there are times when we can’t give feedback. Sometimes stories just don’t work and we can’t explain why. Sometimes we don’t have time to get into all of the things that need to be done to fix it. Sometimes the work is just so wrong that you can’t even begin to explain why.
So, here’s some tips for the people we can’t give personalized feedback:
- Check out a few of the writing books we recommend: On Writing by Stephen King, The Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, and The Write Great Fiction series.
- Hit up Strunk and White for grammar.
- Make sure that your use of “blue” language serves a purpose beyond being “shock value.”
- Even short stories need to have a point and a plot arc. It can be very small and internal, but it needs to be there.
- Let your main character be the hero.
- Keep your target audience in mind. In general, kids read about either kids their age, or just a step above them. Teens are more sophisticated, but they aren’t yet adults.
And here’s a few tips on submissions in general:
- Read the submission guidelines on the website of the publication.
- Short bio means around 100-200 words long.
- You do not need to, nor should you, list all of your publishing credits. Pick 2-5 relevant credits.
- Spell-check is your friend.
- Always, always be sure that you are submitting to the correct publication.
- Wait for a response to one story before sending the next. (Unless they’re being submitted to different publications.)
There’s a few tips for you.