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  • Tips for Developing Submission Habits (Tip #4)
Tips for Developing Submission Habits (Tip #4)
Written by
Anna Leahy
May 2011
Written by
Anna Leahy
May 2011


A lot of journals and literary agents have moved to doing everything electronically. Indeed, some of my post-chat submissions were accomplished by attaching a file to an email message or by using a submissions manger. But I was surprised that most of my submissions in this round—8 or 9 out of 13—were by regular postal mail.

Even if you think most of your submissions will be electronic, don’t put yourself into the situation of finding an opportunity, perhaps with a quickly approaching deadline, and not having the physical means to send it on its way. Make sure you have regular business size envelopes, plenty of “forever” stamps that don’t get dated when the price goes up (the breast cancer research stamps are my favorite), and some larger envelopes for longer pieces or for contest entries you don’t want to fold.

I’m not opposed to electronic submissions and was looking forward to doing more of them this time around. But I do think that poems read better on paper, especially if you’d have to scroll down the screen to finish reading a short one. Also, some studies of online reading habits suggest a hard copy might be read more attentively, the reader sticking with it a bit longer. I like the idea of conserving paper and saving trees, but when I have the option to send the hard copy, I usually still opt for that. At least, I use recycled paper.

What surprised me about my submission session this time around, though, is that electronic submissions didn’t save me time. I expected electronic to be more efficient. Okay, if everything were done electronically, I wouldn’t have to spend time buying stamps and envelopes, but I just stock up on those supplies when I’m at the post office or office supply store for something else anyway. The time it takes to fill out all the information in a submissions manager seems no less than the time it takes to address the envelope and SASE.

I suppose repeat submissions with the same submissions manager will be quicker, and I hope to find that out in the coming months as I try to maintain a regular submission habit. The electronic submission is more efficient than regular postal mail in that the submission arrives at its destination far more quickly. Of course, that doesn’t mean it gets read more quickly. And even if it is read more quickly, that doesn’t mean it has a better chance for acceptance.

No matter what the mode of transmission, the point is that, when your work is ready to get out there, make sure all the other necessities are at your fingertips. Don't let something external to the writing trip up the submission.

Tip #1:http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/blogs/tips-for-developing-submission

Tip #2:http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/blogs/tips-for-developing-submission-1

Tip #3:http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/blogs/tips-for-developing-submission-2

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