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Cricket and Highlights submission formats?

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Hi,

First things first, I am a new writer on the block. I find SCBWI immensely helpful and with suggestions from experts here, I am working on submissions to magazines.

However, as a newbie (and specifically that I got too excited and acted dumb, as a result) I realized I totally messed up my submissions to Highlights and Babybug. I submitted an 8-line poem and I didn't put it in double-spaced with 1-inch margins format  :( To make things worse, the poem is in the center of the page not left-aligned  :gaah

When I was looking at guidelines on Humpty Dumpty website where they have mentioned manuscript formatting requirements, I went back to look at Highlights and Cricket websites and didn't find any there. Now, I am guessing this very reason is enough to reject my ms but I wanted to know if somebody had similar experience when they were starting out? And is there anything I can do now ?

I submitted the same ms to Babybug and Highlights (I did indicate that in my coverletter) and it has been ~1-2 weeks.

Thank you for reading my long post!
#1 - August 12, 2016, 12:36 PM

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:welcome Orchid.

I wouldn't worry about the formatting right now. Stellar writing trumps everything. I'm sure if an editor falls in love with your poem, he or she will take it to a meeting. I've not submitted anything to Highlights or the Cricket group in a while but I seem to remember that I'd hear something back within a month (for Highlights) or 3-6 mo for Cricket.

You might want to check response times thread or wait in the trenches with others for some support and commiseration.

Good luck, V.
#2 - August 12, 2016, 01:27 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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Hi Orchid,

I've had about a dozen acceptances and probably three times that number of rejections from the Cricket group and Highlights magazines and the editors have never once commented on my formatting. I generally single-space, with either a centre-alignment or left-alignment, with my contact info in the top left corner. My margins are typically about an inch, or inch and a half. What the editors do comment on is content.  If there is something that doesn't make complete sense or is unclear, they will mention that. They might also point out where a particular rhyme doesn't work, or if the vocabulary is too unfamiliar for the audience. I think if you present your work in such a way that it is readable (and it sounds as if you have), you should be okay to go, unless the publisher has specifically asked for a particular formatting formula. 

The writing is what really counts.  I'm not discounting the importance of proper formatting for a professional appearance, but with poetry especially, you have a bit more leeway with how you present it.

Regarding submission times, it has taken anywhere from a few weeks to six months receive a response on a submission, with an average of about 3 months.

Hope this helps! 

~Carol
#3 - August 12, 2016, 02:26 PM
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 02:28 PM by Carol M »

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Orchid, what the others have said is true. The content of your poem is more important than the format.

I, too, made a booboo in a recent sub to Highlights and my booboo was much worse than yours. What I didn't realize at the time (because I hadn't previously used Submittable with them) is that you can withdraw something you've submitted, fix the booboo, and then re-submit it. You won't want to do this if the submission is already 'in progress,' but if they haven't yet seen it, that might be a solution to your concerns.

Best wishes to you!
Ev
#4 - August 12, 2016, 08:23 PM

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Thank you for your responses! Looks like I can breathe now :)

I did hear that magazine submissions take a long time to get back and I have mentally prepared myself for the wait ahead. It has been 2 weeks since I submitted to Cricket and 1 week to Highlights. My online status on submittable changed to in-progress for just Highlights (within few hours after submission) but the status for Cricket still shows Received. From reading here and blogs elsewhere, I learnt that the status really doesn't mean much in that "received" can really mean that somebody must have already read it and status can go from "received" to "declined" or "accepted" without ever going to " in progress". For that reason, I think, Ev, I am going to hold off on making any changes and let them be since they are not too particular about formats.

And now I would like to sleep and wake up directly after 6 months to see the decision on them... (phew! And I thought I had patience..)

#5 - August 13, 2016, 06:12 PM

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Poems aren't formatted like other manuscripts. It's correct to send a poem single-spaced unless guidelines say otherwise. Good luck.
#6 - August 15, 2016, 07:27 AM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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Thanks for your reply, Debbie.

I think I am going to just wait it out now. Feeling nervous but excited :)
#7 - August 15, 2016, 10:15 AM

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