Thursday, March 7, 2013

9 Things Not to Do as a Writer

As some of you know, Writer Abroad runs a writing workshop in Zurich. Every year, writers submit work for critique by our authors in residence, and every year, Writer Abroad is once again amazed by the number of writers who do not follow the submission instructions—even those who register for advanced workshops.

Forget great writing—yes, you must have that too—but as a writer, it’s easy to stand out from the crowd just by following submission instructions.

Over the last four years, here are some of the main problems Writer Abroad has observed while collecting submissions:

1. Writers don’t meet deadlines and think they should have an exception.

2. Writers submit up to 10 (!) more pages than is allowed.

3. Writers use single spacing instead of the requested double spacing.

4. Writers mess with margin sizes to cram as much text as possible on a page.

5. Writers don’t put their names on their files.

6. Writers don’t send documents in correct formats (when a .doc is requested, don’t send a .docx or a .pdf).

7. Writers use strange fonts (you should have a good reason to use anything other than Times New Roman).

8. Writers annoy gatekeepers by going around them.

9. Writers send several emails with different submissions, each time saying, “I changed my mind, use this one instead.”

Moral of the story? If you’re submitting something, make sure to check the guidelines. Then double-check them. Then triple-check them. Make sure what you’re sending is what you want to send even though this sounds obvious. Do all of this before you click send. It’s only professional. Editors, judges, and workshop coordinators everywhere will have a good impression of you from the start. Isn’t that what all writers want?

If you're an editor, writing judge, or other submission collector, what mistakes do you see writers making?


  1. I agree with you with one exception (not really an exception, but perhaps a bit of empathy). Many of us aren't very tech savvy and wouldn't even know that they were sending a docx instead of a doc. Granted, the ones fiddling around with the margins probably know exactly what they're doing.

    1. The Most assignment writers fail due to a combination of factors, but mainly being too lazy to try, lacking persistence, too little planning, not being focused and unrealistic expectations. Writing takes more effort than most people think. It takes a lot more than just sitting down to pen a few sentences.

  2. Funny- I give these EXACT same rules to my high school seniors, and I still get Hamlet essays written in 16 point Comic Sans. It kills me every time!

  3. I teach writing and edit too, and I see all the same things.

    Also, writers who claim not to know how to get a word count, do spell check, insert page numbers, use left-aligned margins (instead of justified), and all sorts of other very basic word processing functions. I tell them - if you are going to write, then second only to your brain, your word processing software is your main tool and you must learn how it works!

  4. I completely agree, Lisa. Does a plumber show up without knowing what's in his tool belt? As a writer, it's your responsibility to know the technology that comes with the job. If you don't, then "unpublished" is probably what your work will end up being.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Decent put up! This particular such I just realized are in fact advantageous aided by the section that Marilyn and I are searching for quite a few years. Today follow-up Payday Loans Bless most people developed for enticing post.

  7. As I specified, there are four classes in the opposition. Being outrageously attached to the Thai dialect (as I would be), I chose to point you toward the Thai websites, twitter records, and Facebook pages that endured to the group vote.

    Regards: assignment help UK

  8. Additionally, writers who guarantee not to realize how to get a word tally, do spell check, embed page numbers, utilize left-adjusted edges (rather than advocated), and a wide range of other fundamental word handling capacities. I let them know - on the off chance that you will compose, at that point second just to your cerebrum, your statement preparing programming is your fundamental apparatus and you should figure out how it functions!

  9. Profession of writing is not easy as it seems writer has a lots of responsibilities which is more important factor to care about. best assignment writer UK always provide suggestion about writing in a flow and always write with new words use synonyms don't over write and don't use same words lots of time.

  10. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.
    Seek the best Experts Assignment Help in UAE at a student-friendly price. We have Experienced and Professional experts who assist you with 100% unique work. Case Study Help offers assignment writing services for any assignment. We always strive for the quality of the assignment papers with on-time delivery.

  11. Thank you for sharing this valuable post
    Do you need MBA Assignment Help UAE from MBA/PhD Writers? Join us today!
    Case Study Help is the most reputed and trusted assignment help provider in all around the World at the lowest price. We have a team of experienced and skilled top MBA/PhD writers. offers excellent quality pages & samples and on-time delivery.

  12. Thank you for this Precious post
    Buy online assignment help in the UK at the Best Price from
    We are the world's No.1 Assignment Task Company. We are the leading provider of Case Study Help & Assignment Help for students and professionals in the UK. We aim to ensure every student or professional has excellent quality assignment papers.

  13. Thank you for sharing this great article
    Assignment Task is the bеѕt ѕеrvісе provider fоr UK аѕѕіgnmеnt hеlр in the industry. Wе hаvе a tеаm оf quаlіfіеd аnd еxреrіеnсеd аѕѕіgnmеnt help and our experts who are well trаіnеd tо provide рrоfеѕѕіоnаl writing assistance in all academic areas.

  14. Do you need to write a CDR Report for Better Grades? Visit! We are at CDR Australia with Experienced and Skilled Engineers and Experts. Our Experts create new and plagiarism-free CDR Report in Australia for engineering students. You can meet us online at any time. 

  15. Get the Most Reliable Editing and Proofreading Help services at Study Assignment Help UAE at a pocket-friendly price. is one of the most popular and trustworthy websites 24/7 hours available on the internet in UAE. We have a team of professional academic Experts.

  16. When it comes to teeth cleaning in Dubai, you can expect top-notch dental services that prioritize your oral health and hygiene. With state-of-the-art facilities and skilled dental professionals, Dubai offers a range of advanced teeth cleaning procedures, ensuring a thorough and effective cleaning experience. Whether you're a resident or a visitor, you can trust that your smile will shine bright after a dental cleaning session in Dubai.

  17. I love how the post is written and the information is conveyed to the readers. Buy Amritprash Immunity Booster

  18. AnonymousJuly 28, 2023

    I was really happy to find this website.
    Traffic Lawyer Lunenburg VA
    Fairfax Traffic Lawyer

  19. In the realm of professional content marketing in San Jose, adhering to guidelines parallels the meticulous nature of a writing workshop's submission process. Writer Abroad's experience in Zurich resonates with the challenges faced in ensuring compliance with instructions. Just as precision is paramount in crafting compelling narratives, so too is it crucial in executing effective content marketing strategies. Even in advanced workshops, where expertise is presumed, the recurrent issue of non-compliance underscores the universal truth that attention to detail is the bedrock of success. In the competitive landscape of San Jose's professional content marketing sphere, the ability to follow instructions becomes a defining trait, akin to the precision required in creating impactful marketing campaigns.



Related Posts with Thumbnails