© 2016 by By Lisa Morton

Let’s start this by saying that you’ve already studied all the writing guides and taken the classes and read lots of great short fiction, you’ve crafted your own short story and you think it’s good enough to send out into the waiting world.

If you’re a new writer, this can be a daunting process. First off, let me assure you: WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES ALONG THE WAY. As long as you learn from your mistakes, you’re doing just fine.

But maybe there are a few things you can do right up front to help you avoid those mistakes. Listed below are five of the most common problems that editors encounter. Some of these mistakes seem obvious, but are still committed often enough to warrant inclusion here. Follow these five simple rules, and you’ll guarantee your story a leg up in the submission stack (also known as the dreaded slush pile).

While following these simple rules certainly won’t guarantee you short story acceptances – craft and talent are likelier to do that – not following these tips will almost certainly lead to a lot of rejection letters. Give your story the shot it deserves, hang in there, and eventually editors will be looking forward to seeing your name in their inboxes.

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