Written by Arleen M. Kaptur

Whatever kind of writing you do - whether it is non-fiction, fiction, or a combination of everything and a little bit of this or that, all writing has one thing in common. This common thread weaves its way in and out of all our written words. You canít see it or touch it but you know its there. It wakes you up inrepparttar morning and it gives you rest at night. You canít leave it at home and you canít run away from it. This phantom shadow will be your companion fromrepparttar 129559 first time to sit down and put pen to paper. It will be there when you send out your first piece of writing to an editor, and it has front row seats when you are published.

This secret partner of ours wipesrepparttar 129560 tears, quellsrepparttar 129561 fears, and allows us to continue onrepparttar 129562 journey we have chosen. EGO - ( E-verybodyís G ot O ne). Yep, you guessed it - there it is as big as life. You may say that your EGO is perfectly controlled and you can handle anything. Okay, andrepparttar 129563 moon is really made of cheese, too.

Letís face it - without ego we would not care about getting our words out so others can read them. We would not try to reach perfection with each article, short story, or novel. Never would we overcome that first rejection - itís after all directed at us personally. They canít do that - I know its a good article - so if they donít want it Iím sending it somewhere else. (signed) Your Ego.

That infamous three-letter word can bring fear intorepparttar 129564 lives of anyone who stands onrepparttar 129565 path we are trying to walk down. No matter how much darkness envelopes our mind, we will come up with new ideas. Whenrepparttar 129566 rain begins, we take to readingrepparttar 129567 masters and try to figure

Don't Fall Into the Query Letter Quandary

Written by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta

He wroterepparttar book on how to write killer query letters. In this interview, author John Wood shares his knowledge based on 17 years of working as an editor. More than 30,000 query letters have landed on his desk. Wood lets us in onrepparttar 129557 things that make or break query letters, and how you,repparttar 129558 writer, can get past repparttar 129559 editor's desk and be published.

A Query Letter That Stands Out ------------------------------

Because most queries look and readrepparttar 129560 same, your query letter must stand out.

"Devise a scintillating title and subtitle for your idea inrepparttar 129561 style ofrepparttar 129562 magazine you're pitching," says Wood. "Center it and boldface it right up front after your initial introductory paragraph. Use bullets, numbered lists, indented paragraphs, italics or even boxes to set off important elements. Don't go overboard, but do something to make your letter stand out from repparttar 129563 pack.

"My former editor demanded that I do this whenever I proposed an idea to him because with a head and deck atrepparttar 129564 top ofrepparttar 129565 page, he could envision instantly what it would look like inrepparttar 129566 magazine," Wood explains. "I have used this technique ever since when approaching editors and agents, and have been told by more than one agent that my queries wererepparttar 129567 best they have ever seen."

Your query letter should be no more than a page or a page and a half, and should contain a brief introduction as to why you're writing that specific magazine. Mention your expertise or interest in your proposed topic, and include one or two ideas, presented in decks and heads. In your closing paragraph, briefly mention who you are, your publication credits and how you can be reached.

Include one or two clips of your writing, but only if your clips are similar to your proposed topic. There's no point in sending a cooking article clip if you're querying a travel article!

Most Common and Crucial Mistakes Writers Make When Writing and Submitting Queries ---------------------------------------------

"Of allrepparttar 129568 ones that I rejected, I found thatrepparttar 129569 writers were makingrepparttar 129570 same simple mistakes or omissions," Wood reveals. "Unfortunately, reject letters never tell you what you did wrong, so most writers just continue to makerepparttar 129571 same mistakes."

According to Wood, there are 4 common mistakes writers commit when writing and submitting query letters:

Mistake # 1. Sending your query torepparttar 129572 wrong editor

"This is crucial," says Wood. "Callrepparttar 129573 magazine, ask for 'Editorial,' and ask which editor handlesrepparttar 129574 subject you're submitting.

"If you're sending a query for a health article, ask which editor handles health features. If you're sending a pitch forrepparttar 129575 New Products department, ask which editor overseesrepparttar 129576 New Products department, and so on," he advises. "Ifrepparttar 129577 receptionist gives yourepparttar 129578 editor-in-chief's name or says, 'Just send it in,' do not accept this. Demand a specific name for your specific topic. If she can't or won't, ask to speak to her supervisor."

When Wood was editor, writers who took their time to do their homework, learn that he wasrepparttar 129579 right editor for their proposed story and then approach him directly by query letter always got top priority.

"Unfortunately, less than 5-10 percent of all submissions arrive to me--or any editor--that way. Writers who act in this manner earn my respect and I will assume they are professionals and treat them accordingly," Wood says.

And those who don't? Their queries don't garner much interest and go straight torepparttar 129580 slush pile.

Mistake # 2. Failing to narrow your story angle

"Don't send a query about horseback riding," Wood warns. "Send one about horseback riding for blind black women lesbians along repparttar 129581 Malibu coast during Kwanzaa. I'm exaggerating, but I guarantee you that a query likerepparttar 129582 first example will go nowhere; one focused torepparttar 129583 degree ofrepparttar 129584 second example will find a market somewhere."

Mistake # 3. Not studyingrepparttar 129585 magazine thoroughly before querying

Take time to know what a magazine wants and doesn't want. Know its readers and stylerepparttar 129586 articles are written in. Do these things and you will be able to write a query letter that will catch any editor's eye.

Mistake # 4. Forgetting to include a self-addressed stamped envelope or SASE withrepparttar 129587 query

5 Things You Should Never Do When Writing A Query Letter --------------------------------------------------------

1. Don't be presumptuous. Avoid even an appearance of cockiness or arrogance.

2. Don't be sketchy. Outline your idea in sufficient depth to giverepparttar 129588 editor a clear picture of your idea and what you intend to do.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
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