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About Varied / Professional Core Member TheBrassGlassUnited States Groups :iconhistfic: HistFic
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Deviant for 10 Years
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An Unorthodox Rule - Prologue, p. 8 by TheBrassGlass

Edmund is a down-on-his-luck courier, scarred by the war, rejected by his beloved Prince Darius. His only friend in the world is his horse, his only pleasure, a bottle of wine. But when Darius makes a grand reappearance, with the offer of a lifetime – a whole bag of silver and the possibility of returning to Darius’ good graces if Edmund can track down the king’s bastard grandchild – how could Edmund refuse? But what he finds on his quest is far more than he could have bargained for…

Crown by XiahismClick to see the characters by other artists! Crown by Xiahism

Some of my work

The hero of time by TheBrassGlass

Inspiring things from my favorites

Unorthodox by PosyPrinceTotem / Villa Gesell by DiegoTripodiThe end of the summer by kimberly80Misericorde by DalfaArt

Publishing Week

Rejections happen to everyone. Chances are, if you submit pieces to two places, at least one of them will be rejected, if not both. Even some of history’s greatest written works were rejected numerous times. You shouldn’t let a rejection get you down.

However, there are some things you can do, and other things that you should avoid, to improve your chances of being accepted for publication.


carefully read the submission guidelines.


just send your manuscript everywhere without regard to the guidelines.
There are tons of resources to help you find potential publishers: magazines for writers and poets, the publications that you yourself read, websites, heck, you can even Google “where to publish short stories,” for example, and get a ton of helpful resources. Each one lists its submission guidelines (even self-publishing venues have them), and that should be your first stop whenever you are considering trying to get something published.

Manuscript2 Essaywriter by TheBrassGlass

There is nothing that can make an editing department groan more readily than submissions that don’t meet the guidelines. Yet, when I was working at a small, independent publishing house in western N.Y., there was never a shortage of such manuscripts.

Being a specialty independent publisher, we really only accepted scientific and historical nonfiction, philosophy and secular humanist books, and we had a small science fiction/fantasy imprint. These things were clearly stated in our submission guidelines. You also could readily see what sorts of things we typically published by just looking at the publishing house website or the catalogue of the books it recently released. We also generally didn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. Our contracts stipulated that we could reject any manuscript if we deemed it too riddled with mistakes or if it was incomplete, until the writer could furnish an improved version.

These guidelines did not prevent us from being inundated with unsolicited manuscripts, everything from poetry (we had never published a single volume of poetry) to memoirs and literary fiction. And despite the contracts, writers frequently sent in unfinished pieces riddled with errors and didn’t understand when we kicked the manuscripts back.

manuscript1 DodgertonSkillhause by TheBrassGlass
Later in the week, akrasiel will be writing up an article on how to submit novels for publication, so be sure to check that out.

What about other publications? Working on the editorial board of a magazine or journal is quite different from working in a publishing house in several ways. But the two have at least one thing in common: tons of submissions that don’t meet the guidelines. Can you guess which pieces end up getting rejected right away?

So if the submission guidelines say you must have your name and the piece title on each page, make sure you do that. If they say you need to number the stanzas of your poem, do it. If they say you need a cover letter, you better have one. With journals and magazines, you also must be mindful of submissions windows, which are specified in the guidelines. Most small publications can only keep their window open for a few months out of the year because they get crushed with submissions that a small handful of human beings then have to sort through. They employ what is called the “slush pile,” the mass of submissions that must be evaluated for possible publication.

The sheer size of these slush piles is enough to intimidate even a seasoned editor, so they must resort to discarding as many pieces as quickly as possible. They do this first by asking whether a piece meets the submission guidelines; if it does not, or it was sent in outside of the submissions window, that piece automatically goes in the rejection bin. This is the first step in a long, arduous process, and it can get rid of half a slush pile or more alone!


know your genre.


refuse to categorize your work.
Put aside any objection you may have to labels. In the literary world, there’s no room for stubbornness. The objective is to sell writing, and the most effective way to sell writing is to be able to tap as quickly as possible into the audience that is most likely to read it. You would not go to your auto mechanic shop looking to get a root canal fixed; no, you’d go to your dentist’s office. You would not go to your supermarket to buy a car, you would not go to an elementary school teacher and ask her to perform surgery on your foot.

Likewise, you would not go looking for a biography on your favorite musician in the sci-fi/fantasy section of a book store, and you would not try to find a manga in the historical nonfiction section.

So, why would you mislabel your own work? Just think of how annoying miscats are on deviantArt. Be accurate; the more accurate, the better.

Manuscript4 Lauramusikanski by TheBrassGlass

If the submission guidelines of a women’s magazine specify that submissions should explore female experiences, the fastest way to get rejected is to send in your story about boy adventurers. Don’t do it. If the guidelines say the publication takes only speculative fiction, don’t send in your memoir. If they want poetry or novellas, don’t send them your 800,000+ word epic werewolf trilogy. Know who your audience is. If you want to publish that fantasy novel, go look at fantasy novels out there that are similar to yours and see who published them. There’s a good chance you can submit your work to that publisher, too.

Again, read the submission guidelines carefully. Be realistic about the genre of your work. If you’re just chucking your manuscript at any old publisher, you’re definitely going to end up on the reject pile. Ain’t nobody got time for that tomfoolery.


self-edit and get a fellow writer or two to proofread for you.


send in first drafts or pieces with tons of errors.
Back to the slush pile. After the editors have determined whether a piece meets the submission guidelines, the next step is to read the first few lines or sentences of the pieces that remain in the slush, to assess the quality. If there are a ton of obvious spelling and grammatical errors, the editors likely will dump that piece in the reject pile without another thought. This is because their resources are very limited and deadlines have to be met; if editing a piece will take too much time from work on other elements of the publication, the editors will not expend their precious time and resources on it.

To increase your chances of making it past this stage, be sure to edit your work at least a few times. Run it through a spell check. Put it away for a few days or a few weeks, then come back to it with fresh eyes and work on it some more. Have a writer friend or two read it for you and offer feedback. It’s important that these friends be able to offer you critical feedback; you don’t want the kind of proofreader who will just say “I like it” without being able to explain why. You need someone who is able to question your use of certain words, your approach to character development, the clarity of your ideas.


politely request feedback.


be nasty to editors.
Editing is a lot of work. Editors must sift through hundreds of pages of submissions, often for little to no pay. Many are writers, themselves, and they are graciously giving up their time and energy, taking away from their own work, to focus on the work of others. They want hardworking writers to succeed and they want to delight readers with good discoveries. There are very few things that are more satisfying than pulling a gem out of the slush pile and forgetting, as you read it, that you’ve just spent so much time and effort rejecting dozens of other pieces to get to this one.

You must understand that editors do not always have the time and resources to thoroughly evaluate each piece. If you did not take the time to carefully read the submission guidelines, edit your own work and make sure it fits in with the publication, you really should not expect an editor to take the time to give you feedback.  Editors were not born yesterday; they know immediately when someone hasn’t made much of an effort!

However, if you have done all those things, you should definitely feel good asking for feedback. Make sure your request is politely written, because editors are more likely to respond when you treat them well. Even still, you may never get a reply. And that’s OK, don’t take it personally. Editing is just a lot of work.

Manuscript3 Louise971 by TheBrassGlass

If you do get a detailed reply, congratulations! That means your submission likely made it through most of the steps and left an impression on the editor so that she or he could give feedback. It also means she or he thinks you’re a good enough writer that such feedback would be helpful to your improvement.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT reply by bickering with any part of the critique that the editor offered you. If you do, the editor is likely to think you really don’t care about improving and don’t value her or his input, so your future submissions are more likely to go right in the reject pile. DO kindly thank the editor for her or his time, even if you secretly don’t intend to take any of the suggestions to heart (though, for the record, editors know what they’re talking about and taking an editor’s recommendations likely will help you become a better writer). If the editor is rude or you find yourself getting upset as you read the feedback, put it aside for a few days and come back to it with a clearer, more objective mind. Editors are sometimes rude, and maybe it is best to take what good you can from her or his advice and simply find a different publication to try. It’s the rude editor’s loss in cases like that.

Let’s recap

  • DO carefully read the submission guidelines.
    DON’T just send your manuscript everywhere without regard to the guidelines.
  • DO know your genre.
    DON’T refuse to categorize your work.
  • DO self-edit and get a fellow writer or two to proofread for you.
    DON’T send in first drafts or pieces with tons of errors.
  • DO politely request feedback.
    DON’T be nasty to editors.

Check out the glossary of useful terms below!

I've been poor at keeping up with others on here, so I want to try something new. 

30 deviants said If you want me to periodically check your dA page and give feedback, leave a comment below.


Welcome, and god ye good den!

I am known to most as "jams"; I'm a writer,
artist and general hobbyist who photographs
historical sites and ships by day
and works by night.

Stamp: History by zoro4me3 Traditional Media Stamp by KaizokuShojo I am fanwork friendly by TheBrassGlass

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Commissions: Closed (full)

FlatAsABird :star-half: (sketch stage - ink)
Book cover commission: :star: (completed)
Pelycosaur24 :star-empty: (pending)

Divider II by RBSRdesigns

Trades: Closed (full)

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Acaciathorn Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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Art-deWhill Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2018   General Artist
Hey, please let me thank you so very much for your interest in my art, means a lot! :)
SheDares Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2018  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the fav :hug: :heart:
PennedinWhite Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the watch, dear. :heart:

Good to hear from you recently! 

BackwaterXperts Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2018  Hobbyist
Thank ya for the fave!
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