1. Don't edit when you write
When writing your first draft, forget about grammar, wordiness, or clarity. The only thing that matters is getting words onto paper. Editing every sentence hurts your creativity and may leave you stuck with writer's block.
2. Avoid the passive
If using the passive doesn't help your sentence flow better, then stay active.
Here's an example of a passive and active sentence:
Passive: I was met by Stacy before going to my next class.
Active: Stacy met me before going to my next class.
3. Fail to plan, plan to fail
If you fail to plan out time to write or create visual art, you'll soon be in the middle of finals week with no time to breathe.
Instead of winging a fiction piece days before the deadline, plan ahead to brainstorm, write, or go to the writing center.
In PSY 1001, we learned the acronym KISS -- Keep It Simple, Stupid. I never forgot this acronym, and I continue to use it for my writing.
The easiest way to tell if you're getting wordy is by reading your work aloud. If the sentence doesn't sound like the way you'd say it, it's time to edit.
5. Have someone else read it
If your roommate can't name any Shakespeare play besides Romeo and Juliet, having them read your poem may sound like a bad idea. However, this is exactly why they should.
While their feedback may be vague, it can make a crucial difference in what you submit.
6. Spend time on your cover letter
Your cover letter is the first thing we read--it gives us our first impression of you. That's why we suggest making sure that it's professional and free of errors.
Click here to read the requirements for a cover letter.
7. Fantasy and sci-fi are welcome
We encourage all genres of fiction for our magazine, including fantasy and sci-fi. After all, many people fall in love with reading because of books from these genres.
8. Read our past issues
Check out our past issues here to get a feel for our magazine. Reading them can help you strategize how to set yourself apart.
9. Don't be afraid to submit more than once
While there are limits to how many pieces you can submit, don't be afraid to submit multiple pieces!
10. Don't feel intimidated
The last thing we want is to make you second-guess your work. We appreciate all of your submissions, and we're amazed by the talent we have at the University of Minnesota.
Besides, what do you have to lose by submitting your piece?
Good luck on your submissions, and may the odds be ever in your favor. If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.