You know the guidelines---journals always want you to send
your best work. But how do you make it your best?
Notice the work bench? We’d like to think that words flow
effortlessly through our fingers, right onto the page (or screen),
and that’s the end of it. But most of us mere humans have to
work at it – go back, cut, polish, cut, polish, again and again.
A great way to improve your work is to get involved in a writers
group that will give you honest, kind feedback.
Many submissions come close, but are “not quite.” They have
beautiful phrases and a lot of heart. With extra work, and input
from other writers, they can be made so much stronger.
I recommend a book by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser,
titled The Poetry Home Repair Manual. It’s available through
several outlets, including Barnes and Noble, and Thriftbooks.
It offers practical, user-friendly advice.
See you at the work bench!
These tips may be geared more toward writers, but we also welcome
submissions from artists, including musicians and photographers.