Best Way to Get Published

Congratulations! Your poem/story/work has been accepted for Publication!

Would you be psyched to hear that? To see your name in a magazine, a newspaper, on a Web site, even in a book? Kathy Henderson, the author of The Young Writers Guide to Getting Published (Writer’s Digest, 2001, 6th ed.) says this:

Each month, the work of dozens of young writers appears in publications all around the world, whether it’s on the In­ternet or in more traditional forms of publishing.

Get Published Best Way to Get Published

To do what these people have done, you don’t need to be at the top of your class in reading or writing. You don’t need to know somebody in the business or have lots of money or years of experience. As many young writers have proven, you don’t even need to wait until you are older to try.

So where can you send what you’ve written?

  •  Local newspapers
  •  Letters to the editor columns
  •  School newspapers
  •  Magazines, national and local
  •  Web sites—ones for teens, ones for writers, and ones for spe­cial interests, such as hobbies
  •  Contests
  •  Book publishers (Getting a book published is the most diffi­cult, though!)

Here’s some advice from The Young Writers Guide to help you see your name in print:

Avoid inappropriate submissions. The biggest reason for re­jection is something editors call “inappropriate submissions.” This means that their particular publication or contest never uses the type of material submitted, say a short story when only nonaction is used. To avoid making an inappropriate submission, study the mar­ket and contest information carefully. Send for and study the guide­lines offered. Buy or borrow a sample issue.

Send only your very best work. Rewrite and edit your work until it is the very best you can do. Ask an adult, perhaps a teacher, parent, or a more experienced writer to read your manuscript and offer constructive criticism.

Proofread your manuscript. Correct all grammar, punctua­tion, and spelling mistakes in your final copy before mailing it out. Make it easy for editors and judges to read your material. When the choice is between two works of close or equal merit, the one that looks better will win.

Be prepared for rejection. Most writers have been rejected. Understand that while some manuscripts are rejected for poor writing, others are rejected for reasons not readily apparent to the writer. These include: time needed to print an issue or post it on the Internet, space available for manuscripts, the number of manu-scripts already accepted for publication. Rejection is disappointing, it hurts. But rejection must be put in perspective. The editor or judge has not rejected you personally. He or she simply picked an­other manuscript that better suited his or her needs at that mo­ment—much like you might consider one pair of shoes over another of equal quality.

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