It has been a while since my last post, mainly because my maternity leave ended in April; my writing took a temporary back seat while I got into the groove of returning to my full time day job. This month has been easier as I am back into the swing of both work and writing. However, I have found that getting my novel out to publishers is not as straightforward as it seems. Having to change formatting from one publisher to the next is to be expected: Times New Roman for one, whereas Book Antiqua for another, page numbers in the footer versus the header, etc. Occasionally though, a publisher wants the synopsis to be one paragraph instead of a page, and in one instance, I had to expand my synopsis to six detailed pages. After spending many edits whittling it down to fit it onto a page, it was a good challenge to have to expand it, while still keeping the details relevant to the plot.

Standing out from the rest

The real challenge for a writer though, is getting their work noticed on the slushpile. How does one go about making their work stand out from the rest?

Make a big entrance

This is where the cover letter comes in. I looked up many examples of well-written cover letters before I tackled my own and what they all had in common was to make a grand entrance – metaphorically speaking, at least. Some posed a question to the publisher about the characters or scenarios from their book. Others launched into a paragraph on their fast-paced plotline to hook the reader. I decided on a combination of both. Does it work? Too early to say yet as I have only been submitting since November. But once I get myself either a publisher or an agent (with any luck) I’ll write a follow-up post on this topic. Here’s hoping!

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About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is a writer, poet and literary blogger. Her debut poetry pamphlet, A Model Archaeologist, was launched in 2015 with Eyewear Publishing and her second collection, Chemotherapy for the Soul, was published by Fowlpox Press in 2017. She is a prize nominated poet, having been longlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2014, and her poetry and fiction was selected for the 'Best of the Web' Storm Cycle Anthology 2014, published by Kind of a Hurricane Press. Leilanie is also Editor in Chief of Bindweed Magazine, a poetry and fiction online magazine that also publishes a quarterly print anthology. She currently lives in Belfast with her writer and poet husband, Joseph Robert. Literary blog: https://leilaniestewart.wordpress.com/ Meandi Books: http://meandibooks.bigcartel.com/ Bindweed Magazine: https://bindweedmagazine.wordpress.com/

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