Category Archives: Editing

Six Mistakes That Publishers Hate


As an aspiring writer attempting to build a name, you don’t want to irritate publishers. There are many mistakes that publishers hate. Please make sure to avoid the following:

1. Responding to Rejections – If your writing is rejected by a publisher, don’t respond to the rejection under any circumstances. A response is inappropriate. A response trying to convince a publisher otherwise, insulting them for passing on your writing, or bemoaning the rejection is a huge faux pas.

2. Poorly Edited Material – Even if your concept is interesting, if your writing is poorly executed, you’re wasting a publisher’s time – and your own. You must have your fiction edited before sending your work out to a publisher. There’s no way around this step.

3. Material That’s An Inappropriate Fit – How do you imagine a publisher would feel if they had to reject (as they will) the most amazing piece they’ve ever read because it’s totally incongruous with their style? Show some respect and submit your writing to appropriate markets.

4. Fanfiction – I don’t really need to say anything more – it’s called copyright.

5. Ignoring Submission Guidelines – You can’t send seven poems to a literary magazine if they ask writers to send no more than three. You can’t send a short fiction piece as an attachment if the literary journal wants it copied in the body of an email. Always read the submission guidelines before submitting, and make sure to follow them.

6. Unprofessional Query/Cover Letters – You’re not displaying personality, all you’re doing is showing a lack of professionalism. A too informal cover letter rubs many publishers the wrong way, even when submitting somewhere that appreciates edgy work or presents itself on their website as rather informal. You’ll be seen as an amateur, regardless of the quality of your writing.

Have you ever made any of these mistakes? It’s time to ‘fess up about your tragic experiences so that other aspiring writers can avoid making the same errors.

I imagine that sharing these experiences will also have a cathartic effect, but don’t quote me on that… 

How To Maximize Your Chances of Getting Published

Here’s a scenario: You just completed a short story or poem. Now it’s time to start sending it out to literary journals, right?

How about this one: You powered through and completed your manuscript. It’s time to hire a literary agent or start sending your manuscript to publishers, right?

I applaud the enthusiasm of most aspiring writers, but please, SLOW DOWN.

There are two things that you must do first, before you can reap the rewards of a job well done:

1. Have your writing carefully edited.

2. Find a few literary magazines or small presses that could be an appropriate fit for your writing.

Sadly, even if you follow these two steps, the odds are that you’ll still face some journals or presses that will pass on your writing. However, if you choose not to follow this advice, and submit poorly edited pieces to literary journals and small presses that are wholly inappropriate for your type of work, it’s likely that all you’ll meet with is rejection – and much of it.

Save yourself the stress. Do the right thing. Slow down. Have your piece edited, find a good home for it, and then watch how easy it can be to start building a name for yourself in the literary game.


If you would like to get your work edited, please click here.

If you would like assistance in finding an appropriate publisher for your work, please click here.