How to get your work published: Secrets from an editor of The Peacock’s Feet

Are you a Georgia College student? Are you a writer? Do you want to be published?

Then this is your lucky day, because I am the Senior Non-Fiction editor and I am going to let you in on the little editor secrets for a great submission. Follow these rules and the odds will definitely be in your favor.

1. Don’t take five pages to get to the conflict or juicy part of your story. Within the first paragraph, I should be hooked, excited, wanting to know where you are taking the story. Usually, if a story takes pages upon pages to get going, I move on. I stop reading. We have a lot of submissions to comb through so you want to be sure to hook us on the first page.

2. Avoid clichés. PLEASE. This goes for poetry and prose. Whether it is cliché metaphors and similes or cliché story lines, please don’t do them. If I can predict where your story is going within the first page, I will be sad. And probably won’t pass it along to the other editors.

3. Be creative and think outside the box. As an editor, I get giddy excited when I read something that is completely unique and creative. I will pay attention much more when the story is taking me somewhere I have never been – i.e. original plot line, original characters, etc.

4. No rushed endings. PLEASE. I can’t tell you how many times I have read wonderful, beautiful pieces that were ruined by the writer’s quick and unsatisfying ending. I find this is a problem among most short stories, nonfiction and fiction alike. Don’t rush to end it. Take your time writing and really make the ending count. I don’t want to have to reject a piece simply because the writer was too rushed to really give it an ending it deserved.

5. Proof read your work. For the love of all that is good and holy, PROOF. READ. Yes, I am an editor. No, I will not be your spell check. There seems to be a rumor in the literary world that writers can send their pieces, full of grammar monstrosities and spelling mistakes and still be accepted because that’s the editor’s job to fix. WRONG. Yes, if your piece is accepted, I will go through and make sure you didn’t miss anything, but sending a piece that you didn’t even read through to check for mistakes let’s me know you don’t care. That’s the message you are sending. I don’t like that message. I will pay much more attention to your piece if it is pristine and void of almost all grammar/spelling errors. I will be one happy editor.

So those are my basic rules/pet peeves when it comes to going through submissions. I hope you all take these to heart and submit to the Peacock’s Feet. Below are the submission guidelines for this year.

The submission deadline for Fall 2013 is December 13, 2013.

Send written submissions to [email protected]
Send art submissions to [email protected]
Send music submissions to [email protected]

Submissions will be accepted by email only. Each written work should be individually labeled with the author’s name and email address in the top right-hand corner. Written works should be sent in a Microsoft Word file compatible with 2003 versions of Word.

Poetry: No more than six poems. Single-spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12.

Prose: No more than twenty pages total, for up to three submissions. Fiction and non-fiction welcome. Specify in your email whether the submission is fiction, non-fiction, or a 100 word story. Double-spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12.

Art: Any media is accepted. Submit only digital images (pictures or scans), saved as a .tif or .jpeg.
Dimensions of the digital images should be 1800 x 2700 pixels or higher, with a DPI of at least 200.

Music: No more than 45 minutes total for up to 6 submissions. Compositions must be original. .mp3, .mp4, .WAV, .WMA, .MPEG-4, and .AAC file formats are accepted. 

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