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Q: What is a publications response time? A: You can find this in each publication's, or publisher's, guidelines. I usually add a month before sending them a follow-up letter.
Q: What should I have in a follow-up letter? A: Keep it simple. I just say this, "On (date) I sent a (manuscript or article) to you titled (title). Would you please update me as to status of my (manuscript or article)? Thank you for your time. Sincerely, (your name)
Q: How do I simultaneously submit a story? A: If you are sending a manuscript to more than one publisher at a time, simply write a cover letter as normal, but toward bottom include, "Be advised that this proposal (or article) is being reviewed by other publishers (or publications).
Q: What is standard manuscript format? A: First, be sure to read each publication's guidelines. Proofread entire manuscript, and be sure to use spell check. On first page in top left corner put your name, address, phone number and social security number. On top right corner put word count. On following pages put your last name, manuscript title and page number in top right corner. Print your manuscript on white, 20 pound, 8 1/2 x 11 paper and do not use a dot matrix printer. Use only one side of paper and have a 1 1/2 inch margin on all sides. Double-space entire manuscript. When done, make a copy of manuscript, and send out copy. Keep original for yourself. And ALWAYS include a SASE.
Q: How do I write a cover letter? A: Keep it simple. A cover letter simply says, "Hi. Here's my story. Here's where I've been published (if you have been). Thanks." My cover letters follow this format:
My name and address
Their name and address
Dear Mr. X,
"One Per Customer" is story of a futuristic murder mystery, where we find murderer is ourselves, in a very abstract way.
My writing has appeared in numerous publications, including: "Aphelion," "Twilight Times," "My Sister's Secret Place," "Erotic Fiction by Rose," "EWG Presents," "Planet Magazine," "Hadrosaur Tales," "Realm Of The Vampire," "Realm Of Darkness," "Cutter Magazine," "Newsbits Weekly," "Forty-Niner Newspaper," "Western Photographer Magazine," "National Management Association Bulletin" and "Art Direction and Design of Orange County Newsletter."
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Jeff Colburn is a freelance business writer. He can be reached at his site, The Creative Cauldron (www.CreativeCauldron.com), or at JeffColburn@CreativeCauldron.com