>I challenge you to join me

>I am so bummed. An essay that went all the way to the final production stages has been cut from an upcoming anthology. I mean, I signed the contract, approved the edits and was ready to broadcast the news to the world. Then today I received your basic “Dear Sue” e-mail: “I’m sorry to inform you that . . . We encourage you to submit elsewhere . . . ” Blah, blah, blah. Yes, it does happen even to people with lots of publishing credits and books on the library shelves. And it sucks every time.

What’s the cure? Send it out again. And send out other things, too. In fact, while writing this, a Facebook friend sent me a message saying exactly that. It’s a great essay, it deserves to be published, and nothing will happen while it sits on a shelf and I pout. So I promise to send it out again within the week.

Now I have a challenge for you. I need to get more queries and finished pieces out to editors. You probably do, too. Who will join me in pledging to send out a query or finished piece of writing at least once every two weeks and report back here about what it was, where it went and what happened? Show of hands? Come on.

I thought this up in yoga class while I was supposed to be clearing my mind. My original idea was once a week, but then I suspected I wouldn’t be able to keep up that pace. So every two weeks, twice a month. Sending out something that has been rejected or even published before counts. Everything counts as long as you’re sending something to an editor in hope of publication. It doesn’t even have to be a paying market. Just get it out there. Two weeks from now is March 10, the day after my birthday.

I’m doing it. Join me. Let’s make 2009 the year we get published in spite of the economy.

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4 Comments on “>I challenge you to join me”

  1. J.M.Cornwell says:

    >I have had the same thing happen to me with Chicken Soup and Cup of Comfort books. My essays got to the final stage and got bumped because of space. If you read the contracts, publication is conditional and you can be bumped even at the very last stage of publishing. Didn’t make me happy when two of my essays were rejected just before printing, but I sold them elsewhere.I’m game to join you in your twice a month challenge. I really should be writing and submitting more and this will give me what I need most — a deadline/goal.

  2. Suelick says:

    >Go, J.M. Who else will join us?I have resent my dog story to Chicken Soup for the Soul, which happens to have deadlines coming up for books about both dogs and cats. That’s one.

  3. SueL says:

    >Sounds like a great challenge, but once a month is more realistic for me. I’m trying to get an online magazine going in between freelancing which is chewing up the hours. In between times, however, I’m working on a timely piece that is specific to our area. I’d like to big-time and shop it with a couple large metropolitan papers. Any suggestions on a killer query letter?

  4. Suelick says:

    >I’ll accept once a month. As long as you set a goal and do it, that’s cool. Regarding the killer query letter, there are books on the subject, but let me just say this: Make it as clear and specific as you can so that the editor can really see what the article would be. In other words, outline the specific points you would cover and the sources of information you would use. Offer a great opening paragraph that shows your style, and if you’ve got any impressive credits, now is the time to use them. If you can plug in a local angle/and or something that connects your story to what’s happening right now in the news, that will give you extra punch. Let us know what happens.Sue


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