Thursday 21 February 2013

Ten irritants that may stop us looking at your submission

1.      Your cover letter is too quirky. This can be just plain irritating. It has to be really good to work. Most writers who try to be funny in their cover letters are actually not. 
2.      Addressing us as sir or madam, or “to whom it make concern”.  We have real names and they’re not difficult to find out.
3.      Sending to us when we’re not open for submissions. We’ll simply delete your work.
4.      Sending something that just doesn’t suit our imprint.  Please, read one of our books before you send something. This isn’t a sales pitch. We don’t mind if you borrow or buy from the second-hand shop if you’re broke. But make sure you read something.
5.      Not following the submission guidelines. We ask for your work to be submitted in a certain way that is convenient to us.
6.      Not getting the age group right.  If it’s children. If it’s young adult, it’s young adult. If it’s new adult, it’s new adult. Keep the voice constant throughout.
7.      Not setting dialogue out correctly.
8.      Zooming in and out of point of view and constantly changing it.
9.      Including too much exposition. Let the story unfold. Show us what happens to your characters.
10.  Being impatient about a reply. We’ll decide when we’re ready to. Each submission must be considered really carefully.       

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