Monday, August 16, 2010

Even Editors Go On Holiday

Well, first of all, apologies for the slight delay in today's posting. Having returned from the Swanwick Writers Summer School at the weekend, all I've been doing is marking students' assignments. Some of you have been busy, whilst I've been away!

But this actually raises an important point. There are times when we need to remember that even editors go on holiday, so that may explain why they take so long to reply to our submissions.

Whilst I was at Swanwick, I had the opportunity to chat to Caroline Taggart. Caroline is the editor of the popular, Writers' Market UK, as well as the author of the immensely successful series of books published by Michael O'Mara that include My Grammar and I, I Used To Know That, and A Classical Education. Now, I have a submission that has been sitting on someone's desk for over four months now, so I asked Caroline when she would suggest that I approach them. And, of course, her answer was, "well, there's no point doing anything now. It's August. Everyone's on holiday."

And she's right. Making a gentle enquiry now could be a waste of time. If the editor is away on holiday, if someone is covering their desk or answering their phone, they probably won't know what I'm referring to. So there's little point in chasing. And there's no point in doing it at the beginning of September either, because, just like me, they'll be swamped and catching up with the work and emails whilst they were away.

So, next time you want to chase and editor, just stop and think for a while. What time of year is it? What are the chances that they'll actually be about? We all know what it's like getting back from a holiday and switching on the computer and watching hundreds, if not thousands, of emails fall confetti-like into our inbox. Try to chase at the quieter times of the year. You may get a better response!

Good luck!