Submissions: The mechanics

Cockburn's Eclectics

Lars O. (CC/Flickr)

Submission has got a lot easier since most markets moved from hardcopy to electronic submissions. Their guidelines can be relied on to explain the process, but there are still a few points of mechanics worth being aware of.

Formatting the manuscript

Editors will expect their manuscripts to arrive in a particular format. The default is standard manuscript format, best explained by William Shunn. I find it helpful to summarise this document into a set of bullet points, which I work through when a manuscript is ready to go. If a publication wants it in a different format, they will say so in the submission guidelines. If they say nothing at all, they won’t object to standard format.

Some markets request a cover letter and some don’t seem to care. I always include one, as it won’t do any harm. I keep it brief because whether the…

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