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Start Your Submissions (PubSub3rdFri)

Pub Sub 3rd Fri – Start Your Submssions

Participant Badge of Pub Sub 3rd Fri

Dear Pub Subbers,
You’ve heard the saying, “Start your engines.” I changed it to “Start Your Submissions.”

Thanks for joining me in Pub Sub 3rd Fri. Our goal commitment is to submit an article, poem, puzzle, devotion, illustration, short story, picture book, chapter book, middle grade novel, young adult novel, adult novel, play, song, or movie to a publisher on the third Friday of each month for a whole year. We started in February 2010. I’m glad I can count you in. It’s good to see you here.

Each time you submit a manuscript or query, say, “Hurray for me. I’m getting closer to publication.”

If you haven’t submitted lately, spend the next three weeks getting your creative work ready to send off. Start today to say, “I can do it.” Let me hear you shout, “Yes, yes. I can do it. I have the power to do it. I CAN DO IT.”

Steps for Week One
1. Choose three possible publishers for the kind of writing you are submitting:

a. Read all three publishers’ guidelines.

b. Select the publisher to use this month.

c. Print out a copy and save a copy of the publisher’s guidelines in your submissions folder.

2. Fine tune your manuscript

a. Use spell and grammar check with your manuscript.

b. Look for four errors in your manuscript. Read my blog for common errors you might miss unless you search for them:

c. If you’ve been to a writing conference, revise three places in your manuscript using a skill or technique taught that you think will improve it.

d. Here are eight books that may help you with your writing skills. Check out the book from your local library for free or purchase it at a book store (local or online). I’ve read all of these books. They each contain excellent advice and tips for improving your story. Little by little the information and skills soak into your mind. Your skills and knowledge improve. You’ll be able to tell when you’re critiquing someone’s work or reading your favorite book. You’ll say to yourself, “AHA. That’s how to do it.” Your writing gets better. Your critiquing improves. You move one step closer to publication. Even published writers continue to learn more about the craft of writing by reading.

Remni Browne and Dave King: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

Donald Maass: The Fire in Fiction

Donald Maass: Writing the Breakout Novel

Donald Maass: Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook

Karl Iglesias: Writing for Emotional Impact

Margaret Lucke: Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories

Noah Lukeman: The First Five Pages

Darcy Pattison: Novel Metamorphosis

Week Two Steps for Pub Sub 3rd Fri

1. Let your manuscript sit a week in an incubator while you do your query or cover letter, resume, and proposal.

2. If the guidelines say to write a query letter , then write your query letter.

3. If you’re submitting a manuscript or article, write a cover letter to accompany it.

a. Include a strong pitch for your manuscript in your cover letter. A pitch is a 25 word eye-catching, heart-trapping summary of your book or article to hook the attention of the reader, agent, and/or editor.

b. In your cover letter, mention one book, article, or illustration similar to yours and how yours hooks readers and attracts them to it. Each time you write a cover letter, you will improve.

c. If you’re a member of SCBWI, mention that fact in your cover letter. SCBWI has a great reputation with publishers.

d. If this is an exclusive submission, write that in your cover letter. “This is an exclusive submission for three months. On December 17, 2010 I am submitting it to other publishers.” For exclusive submission with an agent, you can limit the time to two months or six weeks. Their guidelines might give you an idea of how much time they usually take. I think giving them a time, keeps you from wondering and gives them reason to respect your choice.

4. Write your resume.

a. Include your snail mail address, phone number, email address, website, blog.

b. List all memberships in professional organizations.

c. Include all of your publishing credits.

5. If needed, write your proposal.

Steps for Week Three: Pub Sub day is the third Friday of the month.

1. Read aloud a printed out (hard copy) of your manuscript. Make all necessary changes.

2. Print out your manuscript again. Read it aloud, again. Then read it from the bottom to the top, and from right to left. This will help you notice more errors that your might not notice in other ways.

3. If you see errors, correct them.

4. Print out the GO FOR IT copy of manuscript, cover letter, resume, and/or proposal.

5. Put one copy of manuscript, cover letter, resume, and/or proposal in 9×12 envelope

6. Print out and save another copy of manuscript, cover letter, resume, and/or proposal in a folder called “Submitted Manuscripts.”

7. Make sure you put your snail mail address, phone number, email address, website, and blog on your cover letter, proposal, query, and/or manuscript. If it’s an email submission, follow the publisher/editor/agent guidelines about attachments. Many publishers do not accept attachments. Follow their guidelines.

8. Print out label for 9×12 inch envelope – use the mailing address in publisher’s guidelines. If it is an exclusive submission, mark it as such on the outside of the envelope.

9. Enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope, if the guidelines ask for one.

10. Put sufficient postage on the envelope.

11. Leave the envelope with all the items inside over night (24 hours is good).

Pub Sub 3rd Friday
13. Check your manuscript, cover letter, proposal, and resume Friday morning.

14. Put addressed, stamped envelope with your PUB SUB in a mailbox or email. Say a prayer. Ask God to bless this submission. Say to yourself: I allow myself to receive a positive response, such as, “Yes, I’d like to publish this manuscript.”

Each time you submit, you will get better and better. In case you’re not ready on on the next third Friday, go to my website and print out a rain check:

See my other Pub Sub 3rd Fri posts for more information.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please sign up for an email subscription from the “Sign me up” block from the top of the left hand column.

Saturday, October 9, 2010 was my Never Give Up blog’s FIRST BIRTHDAY.  Because of the generosity of Rebecca Lukowski, from marketing at Maupin House and as a way to celebrate, I chose one subscriber to receive a copy of Carol Baldwin’s book:

Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8; It explains all aspects of the writing process. More than seventy transparency masters and reproducibles are included on the Resource CD which accompanies the book. Thank you, Carol and Rebecca. What a treasure!

Another thank you to Carol Baldwin and Maupin House because they allowed me to add the following links for readers of my blog to download, save, and/or print four of the graphic organizers from her book.

Exercise Muscle Words(PDF)

Create Your Character (Word Doc)

Create Imaginary Characters (fantasy or science fiction) (Word Doc)

Build a Plot (PDF)

I chose the winners for the contest using I appreciate Darcy Pattison for telling about in her blog. So cool.

Please leave a comment, question, or resource.

Never Give Up
Live Write Laugh
Joan Y. Edwards
Flip Flap Floodle on

Copyright 2010 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.


One Response

  1. Joan,

    Happy upcoming birthday to PubSub3rdFri! Please, please, please pick my name for the drawing I’d love to have a copy of Carol Baldwin’s book Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8. I have to admit I want a copy for self-study, although I’m way past eighth grade. Shhh!

    PubSub3rdFri is a wonderful way to encourage writers to submit their work. I hope PubSub3rdFri lives to be old and gray! Thanks Joan for keeping this going. Thanks for celebrating with a give-away.

    Linda A.


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