Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jen's Writing Tip #3: What's in a Guideline?

Answer: Your best shot at publication with that company. Remember that Writers' Guidelines are not just a preference. Editors are looking for something specific and to be considered for their publication, it is in your best interest to follow the guidelines to the letter.

When I submitted my work, I created checklists based on the Writers' Guidelines. After my manuscript had been through the critique group a few times, I ran down the checklist and marked off each requirement.

Not every manuscript ended up as an acceptance, but it certainly made sure it was considered and not tossed on a technicality.

So remember, one key to publication is following those guidelines.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jen's Writing Tips #2 - Come in With a Bang!

NO! Don't do it!

Okay, now that I have your attention, what were you thinking when you read that line above?
No, what? Don't do what? Why? What does that have to do with the title?

When you approach an editor with your manuscript you want it to stand out above the others. Open with a bang to grab that editor's attention. Remember the key is to get their attention so they'll want to read more. A great way to do this is opening with lines filled with emotion, as done above. Maybe the line you use is suspenseful. Maybe it asks a curious science question. All these should grab the editor's attention and they will want to read more.

Once you've gotten that far, it's up to you to follow through. Keep that story interesting. Make that article answer fun questions or provide amazing facts. If you make your manuscript stand out, you have a good chance of keeping the editor's attention. And that is definitely a great start.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jen's Writing Tips #1 Is the Manuscript Ready?

You finished that wonderful manuscript, the story you've been working relentlessly on for months. Before wrapping it up with a cover letter and submission package, be sure it's really ready to be submitted to editors. Is it free from spelling and grammar errors? Is the format correct? Does it follow the Writer Guidelines? Is the piece age-appropriate for your audience?

As editor of My Light Magazine, I've come across promising manuscripts, yet had to reject them based on the above criteria. Don't let all that hard work go to waste. Be sure it's ready to meet an editor and an editor's expectations.

Happy Writing!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jen's Writing Tips

I'm starting a new series on my blog called Jen's Writing Tips. I am still learning along with all the other authors, as we all are constantly learning and growing. The purpose is to help others achieve their writing goals. Each post in the series will hopefully give you something to think about on your next project. Enjoy and good luck! Feel free to leave a comment after any of the posts. Readers may appreciate the feedback.

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The February issue of My Light Magazine is now available at We have wonderful stories, poems, activities and articles to share with you. Don't miss out on our new feature this month - Light Beams. We've received many compliments from our readers and contributors about the magazine. As a thank you, we created a section to showcase some of these comments. If you have something you'd like to share with us, e-mail me at and put "Light Beams" in the subject line.
We also have an updated list of ideas for topics we'd like to see covered in My Light. Click here to see the list. These are our preferred topics. Of course, we consider submissions that reflect our Catholic values as well. However these topics will help our children become more familiar with our faith.
Don't miss out on Candace J. Hardy's latest edition of the paper dolls. As always, she's done a great job and the dolls look like fun!
This issue is also the first one done with full help from our new Illustrator Coordinator, Carol Brooke. My Light will benefit greatly from Carol's sense of color and layout. My Light would not be possible without the help from all our contributors and staff.

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