Some years back, I implemented a new system for submissions. I never look at unsolicited manuscripts anymore; I simply get too many, even though no one (okay, few people) would confuse me for a publisher. I had to put in some form of winnowing process. Many freelancers and small presses require a nominal fee, since even a simple five-dollar payment encourages people to make certain their manuscript is in good order before “wasting” their money.

I wanted a different process, one where no one had to send me money if I wasn’t going to definitely give them value in return. I also wanted to encourage writers to clean up certain common mistakes that I kept seeing over and over. (And over, and over . . .) They all had to do with structure.  Continue reading