Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor
Vision@sff.net

Submission and
Guidelines


One of the fun aspects of working on Vision is helping a new writer find an article subject, and then helping them through the steps of refining the idea and writing and editing it.  However, as I pointed out previously, I have less time to do that if I have to rework too many articles just to fit the guidelines.

Vision generally runs, in the PDF version, between 160 and 200 pages. That's a lot of material to edit, format, and make into three distinct versions (html, PDF and Palm) every two months.

So, here are the things I want the rest of you to consider when you're writing an article for Vision:

Read the guidelines and follow them.  If you have a question about the guidelines, email me at Vision@lazette.net and ask.

Don't write an article and send it off without proofing.  In fact, read it more than once.  Let it sit for a day or two, even if you are running late.  I would rather have a well edited late article than a messy one sent on time.

Don't worry about the theme of the upcoming issue and think that your article won't fit in.  I want anything that has to do with writing, from how you think up a story to finding a proper pen.

If you love writing and have anything at all that you can offer to other writers, consider writing 500-2000 words for one of the upcoming issues. 

Have favorite writing-related books or web sites that you think could help fellow authors?  Consider writing a short review of them.  I am especially in need of web site reviews!

Did I mention reading the guidelines?

Writing for Vision is a lot easier than most people assume, and a few of our writers have gone on to sell material they first published in Vision, or to use the 'sale' as part of a resume to get a job at some other publication.

So, let's work together and get the next issues done.

Oh, and do go read the guidelines...

I am interested in all facets of writing, from first-person experience articles to genre-specific how-tos and informational articles about your area of specialization whether that be history or science or nursing or long-distance running and how and where your specialty can be used correctly by writers. Write something that will help other writers, and I'll be interested in taking a look.

Starting in 2004 Vision will pay half a cent per word for articles.  That's not much money, and I'm going to be asking a lot for that half cent -- both ezine rights as well as the right to publish anything we choose in a POD 'Best of' Anthology at the end of the year.  By printing the anthology, we hope to make back the funds that I will be putting into Vision to buy the articles and perhaps even make enough to fund the following year's article acquisitions.

I will be limiting the number of articles bought, and 2000 words ($10) will be the cut off point for payment.  All the other guidelines remain the same.  I will be looking for articles on theme-related, general writing and genre topics.  If you have some suggestion that you think might help another writer, consider writing it into an article and submitting it to Vision.

We strive to maintain professional standards.  Manuscripts must be professionally formatted, as free from spelling and grammatical errors as you can make them, and in what you perceive to be final draft form. We will not welcome massive rewrites of a piece after we have accepted it when we accept it, we consider it pretty close to finished, and will only edit it to our standards. If we feel that it need massive rewrites, we wont accept it.

If you have any questions, or wish to query about an article, email  Vision@lazette.net

Guidelines:

Articles must be at least 500 words with 2000 words as the 'soft' top.  I'm willing to go over that count if the article needs it, but payment stops at 2000 words.

Check your spelling and grammar!  Also, if you are from a country that does not use US spelling conventions, let me know in the email.  That will stop me from making several 'corrections' before I realize they aren't mistakes.  

Place your Title AND YOUR NAME at the top of the document.  I hate having to go search through emails, checking attachments, to figure whose article I'm actually reading. 

Title

By

Your Name

Use one of these fonts: Courier, Courier New, Times New Roman, Verdana or Arial, 12pt.

Double space your manuscript.

Do not indent .

I would like submissions to be made in either Word Doc files, or .rtf files, and as attachments to the email. (I believe that WordPerfect allows .rtf saves, doesn't it?)  If you use Works, a regular file will do, although (at least in the 4.5 version I have), this program also allows for an .rtf file save. 

A plain text copy (.txt) can be sent, but be certain to mark any italics like this: *before and after the section in italics*, and bold likes this: _before and after anything in bold._  If you cannot do attachments, use the body of the letter as the last resort. 

Indicate book titles with italics.  And yes, that means if you are doing a Word doc or rtf that you can use actual italics and not an underline to indicate italics. (This is not common submission procedure, but it's far easier for me since I can cut and paste to my wysiwyg web page editor.) 

Do not use an underline for emphasis.  Underline on websites indicates a link, and people often send emails to say the link is not working.  Use italics or bold. 

NO HTML code except for links, and those written in this fashion:  http://www.whatever.com/this.htm

Provide the ISBN #s and publishers for all books mentioned or reviewed.  Do this by adding the title, author, publisher  and ISBN# at the bottom of the file.  The same is true for articles -- be certain to cite them. 

An additional note to Word users: You should turn off the 'smart quotes' option in Word which can be found under Tools-AutoCorrect and then the tabs AutoFormat while you type AND Autoformat.  Also uncheck the symbol replacement for --.  While Smart Quotes look really neat on the screen, they sometimes translate to funny little squares that cannot be taken out with the 'find-replace' feature, but have to be hunted down by hand.  If you are submitting anything electronically, you will very likely hear back from the editor on these.  And remember -- a lot of print publishers are now asking for electronic copy for their end as well.

We've been receiving very good articles, and I hope that all of you look at the list of upcoming issues at the bottom of this page  and choose something you feel comfortable with writing about.

We are also still looking for general genre-related articles.  If you would like to write an article on how to research romantic settings, the proper use of codes in spy thrillers, etc., let us know.  The genres we like to cover in each issue are: 

 

Fantasy

 

Historical Fiction

 

Horror

 

Poetry

 

Romance  

 

Science Fiction

 

Suspense & Mystery

 

Young Adult & Children

 

Young Writer's Scene

And we are always interested in articles about the act and art of writing.

Upcoming Themes for Vision in 2004:
 
   

  • September/October -- Essentials of Marketing  (August 10 deadline)
     
  • November/December -- Toys for Writers (October 10 deadline)

Bear in mind that since we are now a paying market, the earlier material is likely to get a spot in the issue, while things coming in closer to the deadline will not unless there is still space -- and funds -- left for them. 

Thank you!

Lazette Gifford
Managing Editor

Questions?  Queries?  Submissions?  Email me!