Saturday, 24 May 2008

The Difference Between Professional and Amateur Writers

Well, besides the Civil War novel, which is moving along well, I've been busy with editing the first issue of the Reader's Eden Ezine, due out in early June. I and the publisher sent out the submissions guidelines to several newsgroups and already stories are coming in. I haven't been snowed under like every other editor yet, but the drifts are beginning to form.

I've also sent out requests for submissions to several authors I know, professionals who might have a story to spare for this new venture. Luckily, a couple have already responded. One thing I noticed first off was that they kept strictly to the submission guidelines. It didn't matter that our emails were informal, with talk of babies, recent publications, and idle chit-chat; when these folks sent me their work it was all business.

I wish I could say that about all the submissions. While the majority stuck to the guidelines, I got several that did not. One writer sent his article as an attachment, even though my submission guidelines said I would delete emails with attachments unread. I don't want to fill my computer with viruses, after all. I even put that notice in all caps. Others used improper title format, and one fellow asked on a newsgroup why there wasn't an email address to send submissions to, even though it was, of course, in the submission guidelines. Everyone else seemed to find it!

I can practically hear all the jaded old editors out there laughing, "Oh, you think that's bad, just you wait!"

Yeah, there will be a lot worse, I'm sure. But I'll try to resist the urge to create a Hall of Shame like Alien Skin Magazine does.

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Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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