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    What can You do to Find Out if Your Submission is Accepted or Rejected?

    Unless you submitted a solicited manuscript, in which case you will surely receive a reply from an editor, the hardest and perhaps the most agonizing part in the submission and publication process is the waiting part. You're unsure if your submission is going to be published and you'd be paid, or it would be rejected.

    Editors are terribly busy people. They receive hundreds of submissions on any given day, mostly unsolicited ones. What can you do when you haven't heard from an editor yet on the status of your submission?

    Here are some tips:

    Wait a little longer! If you submitted a poem, give the editor more or less three months to respond. For articles, reviews, essays and short fiction, give them 8-10 weeks. For books, wait three months.

    The phone is your best friend! Call the editor. It's quicker than writing a letter and it's more likely to give you a response. However, make the call brief and straight to the point. Don't take too long talking with the editor. Just mention your name, the title of your submission and the date you sent it. Then ask about the status of your submission.

    Leave a message! Sometimes though, editors won't take your call. In this case, leave a message to the editor regarding your inquiry, a number where he can contact you, and ask the editor to call you back with an answer.

    Call again! If three business days have passed and still no call from the editor, call again. If the editor is again unavailable to take your call leave another message. If you don't hear from the editor again after three days, flex your fingers and type a short letter.

    Go postal! Some editors don't like phone inquiries. In this case, you have to go postal. Make your letter brief, polite and businesslike. Specify the title of your submission and the date you sent it. If you ever want to hear from the editor (which really is the purpose of writing this inquiry), then enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope in your inquiry.

    Ignored! You've called not once, but twice, and you've already sent a written inquiry but a response from the editor is still nowhere in sight. You have no choice but to assume that you are ignored. Deliberately. Send your manuscript to another publication.

    A tentative response! If, on the other hand, you receive a call or a letter from the editor about your inquiry and the editor asks you for more time to consider your submission, agree with him but ask for a response in a week or two.

    Re-send! Your manuscript may have been lost or misplaced. The editor may not have seen or read it and if he tells you this, send him another copy.

    Forget about it! If you think that you're being given the run-around by the editor -- not returning phone calls, not getting back at you after a certain time he promised he would, several instances where the editor "loses" your copy -- then pull out your article and find another editor!

    Copyright © 2001 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

    Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ creates and teaches free e-mail courses for writers at WritingBliss.com. Sign up for a class today.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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