Friday, 3 April 2009

Proof that being Professional and Courteous Does Work!

I'm delighted to say that Lawrence Pagett emailed me to tell me how chuffed he was that he was finally getting an article published in the Times Educational Supplement. It's a publication he felt he could write for, but like many writers has been exasperated by the delay in getting a response.

(See blog posting -The Waiting Game - 20th February and Gosh What An Impatient Lot We Are - 24th february)

Lawrence was keen to submit more work to TES but didn't want to do so until he knew whether TES were interested in his first piece. As I've mentioned before, it makes sense holding off submitting more work to an editor of a magazine you haven't approached before, until you hear the outcome of your first decision. (If the editor comes back and says their policy has recently changed and they no longer accept freelance written material, any submissions you've made after that first submission, will soon be winging their way back to you too.) Holding out until this first response is received will prevent this sort of situation arising.

Lawrence held off from chasing TES for several months, but then politely emailed them stating that he had other ideas he'd like to submit, but didn't want to do so until a decision had been made on his first piece.

The editor eventually replied stating that his first piece will be published in TES on 17th April. She also apologised for the delay and explained the reason why. Best of all, she ended the email with the most beautiful phrase ... "I look forward to reading your future submissions."

So, although you may want to rant and rave at editors from time to time (which you are perfectly entitled to do, in a sealed room where no one can hear you,) the most productive attitude to take is the professional one. Treat the editor with respect and they are more likely to show you respect.

Which just leaves me with one thing to say. Start writing those future submissions Lawrence!

Good luck.


  1. Hi Simon,

    I am a WB student. It's great to have this blog from WB tutor, with posts that answer many newbie questions for many of us.

  2. Too true! Keep writing while you're waiting for decisions on your submissions, so that if the man/woman from Del Monte says yes, and wants to see more of your peaches, I mean writing, then you have something to show them and they will be impressed by your organisational skills, and they will know that you aren't just a one peach wonder!!
    (It's alright - I've been spring cleaning and I'm a bit giddy on bleach fumes!!) You will be pleased, and reassured, to know that I am not one of Simon's students (Simon must be the most relieved person on the planet about that!)