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The Criminally Easy Guide to Getting Published

Atlin Merrick

The Criminally Easy Guide to Getting PubilshedWe don't believe in writing rules.

If you get words on the page wearing scarlet stilettos and sipping seltzer from a champagne flute, then those are your writing rules.

In my experience as a working writer though, there are three single-sentence rules that help get your lovely seltzer-infused writing published.

3 Tiny Tips for Getting Published

* Read and follow the publisher's submission guidelines

If your preferred publisher's guidelines ask for Victorian crime fiction and you send a contemporary crime story, you've ignored their guidelines and you'll be rejected. Please, don't do that to yourself. They know what they want, so give them that.

* Send your writing in on time

If the publisher requests submissions by 28 February, do not send your story on 2 March. Lots of publishers receive more submissions than they can possibly use and you've now made it easy for them reject you without reading a single word—after all, if you don't follow their simple, initial requests, why should they believe you'll follow more difficult requests in future?

* Keep to the word count requested

Please don't be the person who sends 7,000 words when 1,000 was requested (yes; we've had that) because you'll be rejected. You can feasibly exceed a word limit by ten percent but hew close to the word count regardless, because you've no idea how busy the editor is or how much room they have in their anthology, magazine, whatever.

And that’s it. That's your ultimate guide to getting published.

But here's a bonus tip:

* Keep going.

The facts of writing are you must write a lot, sending things out while you’re writing a lot.

Very occasionally a person is picked by the fame claw and they succeed without much effort. No one knows where the fame claw will drop so 99.99% of us must…keep going.

Write a lot and love writing because unless you love it why do it? Me, I write all the time because it brings me joy, guidance, freedom, and joy. Yeah I said joy twice because I can imagine no better job than writing.

If you feel the same please, take as much of this ‘ultimate guide to getting published’ as you find useful, but especially that last bit.

Keep going.

Keep going.

Keep going.

More like this…
* Flawed Heroes: Reading Them, Writing Them
* Books Inspiring Us Right Now
* We're Sorry in Advance—Writing Crime, True Crime, Fiction & Fact
Credit: WikimediaCommons


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  • Lindy Cameron on

    Thanks.
    Ermagerd – is my head biforcated?…
    Oh, so it is.
    Must fix that. Although it is a clan destine organisation, perhaps I was being mysterious!

  • Kate Hamilton on

    Simply loved the description on FB of being questy, feral, heroic. Laughed out loud. Much like ‘truthiness’. The front page of your FB would be better if the head of publisher wasn’t cut in half.
    Yours truly
    Sister in Crime


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