Article Writing – How To Avoid Article Rejection

You’ve written an article and you send it to the editor of a magazine or website you admire. You check your email constantly, waiting to hear your name is in print and people are reading your article. But instead you receive a curt response, explaining that the story is not suitable for publication. Or you hear nothing at all. You send the article again, but still no response. What went wrong?
Editors don’t have time to explain their reasons for rejecting articles. This is understandable, considering they might receive dozens of unsolicited articles a day, and reject them for a wide range of different reasons. Apparently, most of them don’t have time to formally reject articles via email either (less understandable). So as a fledgling writer, you don’t know what you’ve done wrong, or whether you were just unlucky. This checklist will help you assess your own rejected submissions so you can improve your work and strengthen your chances for publication.
Is my article clearly written, with a strong message and factual base?
You know what you intended to say, so ask someone else to read your article to confirm that your message is clear and your argument is sound. Editors like facts and sources rather than random numbers to support a personal point of view, so if your article mentions that 40% of boys in the public school system are diagnosed with ADHD, make sure you can explain where you found that figure. Use hyperlinks or a list of sources at the end of the article, to show where you found your information.
Are the spelling and grammar completely accurate?
Editors can correct your spelling but they don’t want to. They prefer to publish articles which are ready to run. Impeccable spelling, grammar and punctuation indicate your professionalism: you know what you are doing, you are careful about details and you don’t waste anybody’s time. To check your English spelling before submission, use a Webster’s Dictionary for US publications and Oxford Dictionary for British publications. A style guide, such as The Elements of Style by Strunk and White can help you proofread your sentence structure and punctuation.
Is this an article or an infomercial?
If you think you’ve hit on the brilliant scheme of writing articles as free advertising for your company, you are headed for disappointment. There are many clever ways of sneaking promotional content into the media, especially on the Internet, but articles for newspapers and magazines, online or print, need to be newsworthy. So unless your name is Alexander Fleming and your new product is called penicillin, your article is not newsworthy. (If you think there is some newsworthy value to your miracle product, send a media kit to local newspapers and wait for established journalists to write the article for you).
Have you checked the submission guidelines?
Before submitting any articles to a publication, ask for their submission guidelines. You might find they do not accept unsolicited manuscripts, as all writing is done by staff. Editors of these publications will probably not bother to formally reject your story. Magazines and websites which do accept unsolicited material will have a list of submission guidelines, detailing the standard requirements for publication such as word length, subject matter and tone. If your accurate, newsworthy, researched article is still rejected or ignored, perhaps it is too long or too short, or the subject matter does not suit the publication’s usual material. You can either change the article to suit the submission guidelines, or find another publication that is a better “fit” for your style. If you are committed to writing, and if you are creating articles of a professional standard, you will eventually find an arena for your voice.

No Comments Found

Leave a Reply