Gleaning Clues from Editors’ Feedback

As you progress in your writing career, one skill that’s helpful is analyzing editorial notes. Even really, really short ones!

Yesterday, I made a few picture book submissions. For one, in which my email described the storyline and included a brief excerpt, I just received this reply:

Hi Laura,
Many thanks. This looks fun!

So, this hardly tells me anything, right? Wrong! It tells me the editor likes the concept–yay! (And it’s a fairly…untraditional concept, so that’s good.) And assuming I get a rejection, that will tell me that the concept works, but the execution doesn’t. If I get a couple/three similar responses on the same manuscript, I know it’s time to pull it out of circulation and dig into a deep think about the structure, characters, word choices, etc. The actual execution.

Editors are incredibly busy. If you receive ANYthing other than a form letter (or no response at all), make sure to glean all the info you can from it, so as not to waste that editor’s time and also to improve your own work.

Happy writing!

About Laura Purdie Salas

children's writer, poet, reader, visiting author, speaker/teacher, mentor, copyeditor, freelance writer
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