Thursday, November 20, 2008

Don't Forget Your Front Coversheet!

Firstly, apologies for not posting for a while, but I've been away running another writing holiday, and I'm just about to go away again! (Oh such is the life of an international jet-setting writer .... well Wales is another country, sort of.)

Anyway, I've been busy marking the assignments that came in whilst I was away and I noticed an interesting trend. Not one of those students had given their articles a front cover sheet!

It's important that you give all your articles and short stories a cover sheet. Not only does it make it clear to the editor what you're submitting to them, but in some magazines, the editor will scribble a price on the front of it, rip it off from the rest of the manuscript, and that's what gets sent down to accounts to pay you. So cover sheets or title pages are important!

Remember, a cover sheet should include:
  • The title of your article / short story
  • Who it is by (so put a pen name here, if you are going to use one)
  • The number of words
  • Your (real) name, address and any other contact details you want to provide
  • And finally, details of what rights you are offering the editor (First British Serial Rights, First Indian Serial Rights, First Malaysian Serial Rights etc)
First impressions count, so make sure your title page looks as professional as you can make it.

Right, I'm off to Wales for a few days with a few of my writer friends on our annual retreat. We've hired a large mansion near the Welsh Coast and are escaping from the modern world in order to write, so I'll let you know how I get on. In the meantime, for those of you here in the UK, if you want a laugh, then take a look at this week's "Take a Break" magazine (issue 48 - purple cover). It's my short story on page 57, and it'll probably demonstrate why I don't do short stories very often!

Good luck!