71

If you are submitting to a professional journal that (like many) puts a short blurb about the author(s) somewhere in the article or journal, you could provide a suggested blurb and ensure that there is at least one feminine pronoun in it somewhere. If they don't, or you don't know, you could say, "in case you need an author's introduction, here is a ...


59

As a person of color, I've sometimes had a version of the same dilemma. Is there a professional organization for people of your gender and expertise? If so, you could join the organization, and then sign as follows: Morgan Meredith American Women Tech Writers Association or Morgan Meredith Member, American Women Tech Writers If there is no such ...


35

I also have a confusing first name. When I want to clarify, I sign email as "Firstname Lastname (Ms.)". That conveys my gender as effectively as "Ms. Firstname Lastname", but by putting the title at the end and in parentheses, I don't look like I'm insisting on being addressed by that title. I strongly recommend against putting your photo in your CV, cover ...


33

I once saw someone in your situation address the problem by adding a (gendered) middle name to signatures. This could either be your real middle name if you have one, or a nickname that you're prepared to answer to. If it's your real name, just write it normally: Morgan Ann Meredith If it's a nickname, that is, a name you're happy to have people use ...


26

Welcome to the world of writers. That isn't sarcasm, by the way, that's truth. Let me tell you about my own tale, with a novel (series) called Altar of Warlords. This story has gone through a dozen major revisions, is being turned down right and left, and when I FINALLY have an agent that requests a full manuscript for her approval I'm so caught off-guard ...


26

The most likely explanation is that your queries are poorly written, or the agents you are querying are poorly suited to your work (or feel they are after reading your query). If you are getting rubber-stamp rejections, look online for lessons in writing queries; one example is at Query Letter, but there are many such sites. I would also look for agents ...


24

Use a courtesy title which reflects your gender. Sign your submission as "Ms. Morgan Meredith." Subtle but unambiguous.


19

Those are two different questions! Yes, stories get rejected because the stories are not appealing enough. No, if the writing is bad, the story premise probably doesn't matter, the writing will be rejected anyway. Publishers & editors & agents are all basically the same when it comes to judging a book, Let's call them gatekeepers. Gatekeepers are ...


14

This answer may be controversial and it hinges on you having stated that your "work speaks for itself"... If you assume the tech industry has a bias towards men, then not stating you are a woman would actually be beneficial to you in this case, no? On the other hand, if you assume there is no such bias towards men, then why the need to stress that you are ...


13

What keeps writers writing is the utter impossibility of not writing. Tolkien had no hope of ever publishing The Silmarillion, yet he kept writing and rewriting and editing and re-editing it throughout his life. Keats was receiving negative reviews, yet he didn't quit writing and turn to medicine, though he had the education for it. Writing is a fire in one'...


12

Alas, no. As an unpublished writer, you absolutely should not submit anything less than a complete novel. A few quotes to this effect: You have to have a finished novel. There are no exceptions to this. The first step for writing a query letter is to finish the novel. -- Query Shark When you send your query, do not send an unfinished ...


11

Do not try to query with an unfinished manuscript. Dear Query Shark, I have an incomplete fantasy novel here's where I stop reading and send a form rejection letter -- Janet Reid, http://queryshark.blogspot.co.il/2009/09/134.html Google will find you this advice over and over: an unpublished author should not query an unfinished novel. e.g. 1 2 3 4 An ...


11

Another option you may want to consider is to add your preferred pronouns to your email signature. I'm in academia, and I'm starting to see this more frequently. It's particularly useful for trans or non-binary individuals to make their preferred gender pronouns explicit, and it is slowly gaining some traction among cis gendered individuals who want to help ...


10

There are three ways of answering your question: Professionalism: Some people recognize that frequent rejections are simply an intrinsic part of this particular job, and don't take them personally, or allow them to slow them down. I don't actually know anyone who has achieved this frame of mind, but it stands to reason people like this must exist --I ...


10

Answer: You stop when you are ready to stop. You begin again when you wish to begin. New agents come on the scene every month or two. New publishers too. Part of the answer, which complements the excellent existing answers, is to assess what you are gaining from the experience. You might be learning through the process, and this may be valuable in and of ...


10

There is nobody who would write an obviously poor quality story and then throw a tantrum when kindly told that it isn’t perfect. This is incorrect for two reasons. First, people who write stories don't necessarily know if they are poor quality, and second, because many --perhaps most-- writers are emotionally involved with their stories. I myself have ...


9

My answer is a little broad and maybe even opinion-based… so here goes. I think you can divide your decision process into 3 "problem areas" – it's a little difficult to say these things in a neutral nonjudgemental way, so hopefully you will have the patience to translate my words into ideas. I say the word "problem" but the reality is there may not be a ...


8

I suggest you find, buy and read the book "Get a Literary Agent" by Chuck Sambuchino; (on Amazon or Barnes & Noble) it is a good start and also a good antidote to much online advice. If your queries are not getting answered, there is something wrong with your query. Not necessarily something wrong with your book. That said, it sounds to me like you ...


8

Most publishers are fine with simultaneous submissions and understand that it could otherwise take years for a manuscript to be accepted. What's important is to read the publisher's guidelines before submitting (they should say if they require exclusive submissions) and to be up front about it. Because every genre has a different publishing culture, I ...


8

To me, the answer has always been pretty clear: fifty pages that happen to be double-spaced, i.e. an amount that would be about 25 otherwise. What would be really confusing is if they expected people to know they really wanted 100. And such page-based requests are similar in practice with the word or chapter counts I've seen elsewhere.


7

Your work should speak for itself. If they address you in an incorrect formal manner, such as Mr, Mrs, or Miss, then just respond with a thanks with the correct or preferred title. Your appearance, name, or sexual preference is not irrelevant to your work.


7

A very good short story --or better yet, many of them --can definitely lead to a publishing contract for a novel. (In fact, that's been the classic path for generations of science fiction writers.) But not unless it's published. An unpublished story does less than nothing for you (submitting it as a sample of an unwritten novel is more likely to hurt than ...


7

Ultimately, agents and publishers are interested in what will sell. At one time, it was considered that prior publication online would cannibalize print sales, so writers needed to choose one or the other. But today, many publishers and agents are willing to see prior online publishing success as a good thing. In essence, your work has already been road-...


6

I see two questions in your question. One, why do writers write. I don't need to write, but I do need to contribute to my society, in order to have a sense of meaning about life. Writing is how I do this now. In the past I have tried to contribute in other ways. I also write as the latest in a string of 'lifelong learning' endeavors. It's been educational,...


6

Quoting your quote: In addition to regular Library of Congress cataloging treatment, juvenile titles receive summaries. The summaries are used by children’s librarians and teachers in selecting materials for classroom use and by young library patrons. Special subject headings are also provided for use in children’s library catalogs. If you want those ...


6

This is a norm that has changed. Not long ago, simultaneous submissions were frowned upon. Now they are largely expected. However, publishing tends to be an old-fashioned industry. There are still hold-outs that have different expectations, so make sure you check the submission guidelines for each publisher. I would recommend, however, that you query ...


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