Last Saturday evening I returned from a lovely party to some equally nice news: another of my micro-essays had just found a home in a journal.
Which reminded me of something.
As writers, we spend a fair amount of time talking about where to submit our work, and how to submit it, and when to submit it. We also devote a lot of energy to preparing for (and dealing with) rejection.
But we don’t always say a whole lot about what to do after an acceptance arrives.
Yes, we can rejoice. We can toast. We can tweet. But before we do anything else there are two things that we really need to do. Many of you may know this already. But some of you may not. Ready?
- ACKNOWLEDGE THE ACCEPTANCE/SAY “THANK-YOU” TO THE ACCEPTING EDITOR(S)
- INFORM THE EDITORS OF OTHER JOURNALS THAT STILL HAVE THE PIECE
Admittedly, I didn’t sit down late Saturday night and take care of these items. But I was on task early Sunday morning.
First, I thanked the accepting editor. And then, I reviewed my records (here’s why it’s so important to keep track of your submissions!) and contacted the five other publications that were still considering the piece and told them that it had been accepted and was no longer available.
Why did I get to work on this even before I allowed myself to enjoy the Sunday paper? Because I knew I had to. I knew that it was part of the job of a practicing writer. Editors do not appreciate spending their time evaluating, discussing, and perhaps even coming up with revision ideas for a piece only to learn when they send you an acceptance that, alas, the piece is no longer available. It’s simply common courtesy in this business to make that notification yourself in as timely a manner as possible. Moreover, although most submission guidelines won’t tell you that you must thank the journal or magazine for an acceptance (hopefully, your parents may have taught you that lesson way back when), they will emphasize the importance of alerting the editors once a piece is accepted elsewhere.
What do you think? Any other immediate to-do tasks you can think of after an acceptance arrives?
P.S. For any of you who may have caught my tweet yesterday morning about another acceptance: That one is actually for a highly “niche”/themed piece that I’d sent to only one publication. So right after I sent the thank-you email, I was free to celebrate!