I do a lot of reading and editing for a couple of different art magazines and literary journals (Nat. Brut, Kill Pretty, etc etc etc), and this weekend as I was writing a new cover letter for a couple of new pieces that I’m going to be submitting I realized how daunting the process can be for new writers. Because I’m the king of procrastination, I decided to write up a few submission tips for new writers.
1. Begin your cover letter with: “Listen up!” Readers will understand that you mean business and deserve to be heard.
2. After you do your final read through, get drunk and do it again. Not only will you be loosened up, but you won’t be afraid to make the changes that you know the piece really needs.
3. Put it off until the last minute! If you’re entering your piece into a contest that closes on October 31st, wait until the 31st to send it. Maybe even November 1st. The staff will not only find your rebellion sexy, but you’ll get their full attention. Seriously, they will all be talking about you.
4. If you’re lucky enough to receive a critique with response to your piece, cross your fingers that it’s positive. But if you get a negative response, make sure you respond with a critique of their critique. Use phrases like “how dare you?” and “what were you thinking?” Really let them have it.
5. Relax. Your genius has been let out into the world and soon you’ll be lauded by peers and a legion of fans waiting to see what comes next.