Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fear Not The Editor

Some writers hesitate to write an editor with a question. They think things like They're far too busy to bother with me. or They might think I'm not too bright and will reject my submissions later on. or They'll ignore my inquiry anyway, so why bother?

I've found that most editors are more than willing to answer questions writers have or even to discuss their editorial needs. After all, without writers, there would be nothing for editors to do.

In the past few weeks, I've had occasion to write and ask questions of three different editors. I found errors on the websites of two concerning submission dates and the submission form. With another, it was a letter to inquire if she'd received my submission as I had not heard from her, which is unusual for this person.

In each case, I was answered promptly, with courtesy, and even a bit of humor. All three times, the editor I wrote to thanked me for pointing out the problem and they either corrected it or answered to my satisfaction.

Editors are real people just like you and me. Yes, they wield a bit of power, they can play God if they really want to, but most of them are only looking for the best work to put in the publication they work for. For that reason, it behooves all of us to send them the cream of our crop of stories.. I've seen that stated in several writers guidelines--Send only your best work.-but some writers don't always take it to heart. In a perfect world, we send our best work in every time and an editor accepts it with joy every time, too.

If you have a question for an editor, write to him/her, but keep it short, businesslike, and polite. I'm willing to bet you'll receive an answer. Do look for the answer on your own first. If you cannot find it, then send that e-mail to the editor.

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