1. Set deadlines, and do not over-research before beginning to write.
2. Complete assignments promptly.
3. Use "Creative Meditation" to overcome "blocks" and enhance your thinking process.
4. Keep reference books on hand that will answer questions on the elements of grammar and style simply and clearly.
5. Learn from your editors: compare published versions of your articles to your submitted manuscripts; note changes and deletions, and use this information when writing in the future.
6. Read the magazine for which you are writing to determine your article's proper tone and slant.
7. Get your facts straight! When "facts" are used that do not come from an interviewee's personal expertise, check them through other sources.
8. Learn proper manuscript mechanics and keep your manuscripts neat, clean and professional in appearance.
9. Always keep file copies of your manuscripts, and send (with the editor's approval) good quality copies to those you have quoted or asked for help. Include a note of thanks with these.
10. Back short manuscripts with cardboard and always mail them flat.
11. Handle photos with care and include captions. If they are valuable and must be returned, send them registered and request that they be returned the same way.
12. Write "FIRST CLASS" on the outside of all manila envelopes.
13. If your article was written on assignment, write "Requested Material" in the lower left-hand corner of the mailing envelope.
14. Always include a SASE 9" X 12" for return of your manuscript, legal-sized if you want the manuscript discarded (mention this in your cover letter).
15. Keep detailed records of where and when your manuscripts have been sent; if they are accepted or rejected; information on their re-submission; and, if accepted, when the check arrives (or doesn't).
16. When rewriting to editorial order, follow instructions precisely and be prompt.
17. Do not take rewrite requests as arbitrary personal criticism.
18. Adhere to requested word counts, or, if the editor has not requested a specific length, refer to the magazine's listing in Writer's Market, and stick to the word counts suggested.
19. Develop the skill to edit your own work for length.
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