Nancy's Books

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Manuscript Ready for Publication/Calls for Submissions

I received an email this week from a writer who asked how to tell when a manuscript is finished and ready to submit to a publisher or agent. That’s a difficult question I could discuss with a variety of answers. I sometime wonder the same thing about my manuscripts. I find it much easier to gauge the quality of manuscripts written by others than to identify the positives and negatives of my own writing.

My suggestion to the writer was to revise again and again, looking for strong opening paragraphs, descriptive language, character and plot development, pacing, voice, and a realistic ending. The list could be longer, but that’s a start.

Our best writing is never the first draft…or the second. Sometimes we don’t catch gaps and holes in the story because we see the narrative as a movie running in our minds and we totally understand the characters, their action and motives. Therefore, we need readers other than friends and family to read the work and provide honest and relevant feedback. I suggested to the writer that joining a critique group would be in her best interest. Of course, the group needs to have some interest in writing and preferably experience in writing in the same genre.

If you’re having trouble deciding if your manuscript is ready, try forming a critique group. You will learn from each other and you’ll gain new perspectives about your writing.

Calls for Submissions:

Bumples Pay: $.20/word. An exciting NEW INTERACTIVE online magazine for children four to ten years of age. Bumples specializes in illustrated fiction about children and animals in mysteries, sports, poems and fantasies with serialized adventures in each issue. Stories are uniquely supplemented with puzzles, question games, and activities, all of which makes Bumples story telling all the more engaging. Interesting information on a topic is always fun to explore after enjoying a great reading experience. Consequently, Bumples adds factual postscripts to complement each story.

Teen Ink is a monthly print magazine, website, and a book series all written by teens for teens." The Young Authors Foundation feels strongly that one of the greatest needs of young people is to preserve their sense of self-worth. Teen Ink's role is to listen to its contributors and provide a forum in which teens can express themselves through poetry, essays, stories, reviews, art and photography.
Details at

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