Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Entry # 192 - "About Those Glitches"

Off Diamond Head - Photo Credit Jan Bowman - April 2013
As I think about my writing resolutions for the 2014 New Year, it helps me to remember that while talent is important, hard work and attention to the details of craft are essential to a successful writer's life.

In this age of stiff competition and advanced technology, poorly written work will not be selected. Not only must you carefully research and select appropriate journals for your particular work, you must also attend to basics of craft structure and manuscript preparation. It helps if you can find competent support to help you identify pesky glitches that hide in manuscripts.

Publishers of literary journals, magazines or books require strict adherence to guidelines for stories and longer manuscript (book) submissions. Most writers need some professional assistance in proper formatting. 

So my advice to all aspiring writers who have finished polishing a manuscript, go find a suitable reader, editor, and/or copy-editor to help you identify all the things that you don't know or might have missed as you prepare your manuscript for submission. If it mattered enough for you to spend months or years writing it, then a few months of extra polish is time well spent.

For the past three months I have focused time and energy on working to improve the ten stories in my collection, Mermaids & Other Stories. I've written fewer blog entries so that I could focus on this task.

After I spent all of October polishing this manuscript (again), I was fortunate to find and work with Ally Machate of Ambitious Enterprises (whom I highly recommend)  who arranged to have my manuscript closely read by an editor and copy editor. I used this information to go back through the manuscript (yet again) to improve it. I would encourage writers to polish their manuscripts carefully.  One of my resolutions for 2013 was to identify a list of suitable publishers and submit this manuscript. I met my deadline.
Coming Soon - Mermaids & Other Stories
About Jan Bowman

Winner of the 2011 Roanoke Review Fiction Award, Jan's stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, and a Pen/O’Henry award.  Glimmer Train named a recent story as Honorable Mention in the November 2012 Short Story Awards for New Writers.

A recent story was a finalist for the 2013 Broad River Review RASH Award for Fiction, another story was a 2013 finalist in the Phoebe Fiction Contest; another was a 2012 finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest.  Jan’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes and others.   She is working on two collections of short stories while shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection, Mermaids & Other Stories.  She has nonfiction publications in Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers.   Learn more at: or  visit blog:

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