In the past, I did manage to sell a story to the now defunct Golden Visions Magazine, but it was not an approved market nor did the pay rate qualify as an SFWA sale. So now I'm working on polishing my latest piece. A logical question anyone in my position will raise is to ponder when the story ready to submit.
Due to the subjective nature involved in assessing artistic creations, a concrete set of checklist items would be impossible. I suspect most people end up creating their own set of pre-submission guidelines built from experience. So with that said, the following lists most of the major guidelines I currently follow:
- Proofread for spelling issues and grammatical mistakes.
- Read the story aloud to determine if it sounds smooth the ear.
- Verify the story uses proper story telling mechanics readers expect for the genre.
- Have others read the story and listen to their feedback.
- Have a different story ready and waiting in final-copy state before submitting.
The initial points are obvious while the last is something I hadn't really considered until I found advice indicating some editors will ask for additional stories. Time is our enemy if we have nothing prepared because the editor might forget who we are before we have something new ready to submit. In the end, when preparing to submit a story to publishers, going through a preflight checklist does has value.