Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
An online devotional for writers
Your instructions are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. (Psalm 19:11, NLT)
You’ve got an idea for an article or book. But how can you put together your submission so that you catch an editor’s attention and avoid the slush pile?
The slush pile is a collection of inquiries to an editor or agent. In the past, a slush pile was an actual physical stack of envelopes and packets from eager writers. Today, a slush pile accumulates in an inbox folder or an online submission platform like Submittable until an editor has the chance to read them and respond.
Editors sift through the slush pile looking for gems – submissions that indicate promising writers with proposals that meets their publication’s needs.
Writers, on the other hand, view the slush pile as their Mount Everest, zealously seeking ways to stand out so they can get published. Some even resort to gimmicky fluorescent pink cover letters or perfumed envelopes.
But there’s a simple way writers can rise to the top of the slush pile, according to editors: follow their guidelines.
Follow a publication’s writer’s guidelines and you’ll land in the top 20% of slush pile submissions, according to my editor friends.
The “Follow Guidelines” principle is rooted in scripture. When we follow God’s guidance, He guarantees a “great reward” – a restored heart, wisdom, and insight for living – even in the midst of life’s challenges.
Follow a publication’s writer’s guidelines for submissions. You may not have publishing success every time. But you’ll rise to the top of the slush pile. And sooner or later, you’ll get a contract
To rise to the top of the slush pile, follow the publisher’s guidelines.
When I follow your instructions, you strengthen me and renew me. Let me do my part as I propose articles or books to editors. Help me follow a publication’s guidelines for submission.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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