IWSG Post 13: How to Know When To Submit Your Story #iwsg


[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]


This month’s post is all about taking that step, finding that courage and sending your polished manuscript off into the publishing world.

I am the last writer to give personal advice on this topic. I do, however, have tips I’ve pieced together from a few articles from the experts on how and when to take the risk.


  • Stop the What-ifs and the “empty bucket” thinking. This is a phrase from my 8- year old son. He constantly talks about filling the bucket, and not letting bad words and phrases into your personal bucket in the first place. Persistence should be your guide, along with the belief that one day, with hard work, you too will do what you really want to do.
  • Read your entire manuscript out-loud to tighten grammar and clunky sentences. I just downloaded a great APP for my I-Phone. It’s a pdf voice reader. I haven’t tried out the app yet, but I’m anxious.
  • Read your manuscript out loud to others who will listen.
  • Send your manuscript to other writers and folks with editing experience to help you tighten up what you might not have noticed at this point.


Based on the steps above, if you feel like your story is great, you’ve caught all the kinks and have had others review it, then I firmly believe it’s time to try. Prepare your submission standards like the premise, the log-line, the query and the synopsis.

I do wish you all the best in your dreaming and writing. If you have a great tip to share for knowing when the time is right to submit, I’d love to hear it. Here’s a link to the one of my favorite articles from Writer’s Digest from the author of Blood and Salt, on how she began her submission process the second time around.

P.S. Thank you to the group, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the founder of the group, and of course all the awesome hosts this month:
Beverly Stowe McClure
Megan Morgan
Viola Fury
Madeline Mora-Summonte
Angela Wooldridge
Susan Gourley

About Erika Beebe

Author, dreamer, and a momma to a couple of wonderful kids, I try to live life everyday in hope and inspire others along my way.

Posted on October 5, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Reading your manuscript out loud is great advice. I have my computer read my manuscripts to me to check for clunky sentences and, the bane of my writing life, missing words. It is especially helpful with tricky sections of dialogue.

  2. Your son is very wise for his age.
    Reading it out loud is so important. After hearing my books on audio, I really appreciate that now.

  3. Your 8-year-old is a wise little guy, Erika, and he gave you great advice. No writing is ever perfect, so there is a time to just let it go. When you haven’t cut corners and you’ve done every step you can think to do, it’s time to go for it 🙂

    • Thank you for your tip. It’s hard sometimes to walk the straight and narrow road but I am definitely giving it my best shot. I hope you have a great rest of your day 🙂

  4. I love lists. I am going to add your suggestions to my end-of-book steps. Thanks, Erica!

  5. Very helpful list. Thanks to the young dreamer and writer. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  6. That is one smart son you have there! We really do need to be aware of what we’re thinking and telling ourselves. Let’s fill those buckets with good stuff! 🙂

  7. A wise son! I rely a lot on my super critique partners. They tell me when I’m nitpicking too much. 🙂

  8. I love your first point in particular: Stop the What-ifs. That can be so crippling.

  9. authorcrystalcollier

    I’m all for readings, although, I do get a little bit nervous reading in front of a group.

      • authorcrystalcollier

        Have you figured out any great tricks for overcoming?

      • For me, I think of some funny personal stories I think others might relate to. I like to start talking about that first…put myself out there a bit because I am so introverted it helps me get past the fright. Then I write questions down I can ask to get the crowd thinking and how they might might take over some of the talking time. That way I have a minute to catch my breath and thin of the next thing. Does that help?

  10. I love the list of steps you’ve created! I read my entire first novel out loud to my family. We had a few laughs. I cringed a number of times. I think the story was far better for the process. My second novel had a similar treatment, but not all the way through, and then I sent it to a couple of proofreaders. I think it has better grammar but less soul. Every type of pre-reader or listener has a unique way of helping us.
    I’m curious about that read aloud app on your phone – please report on how that works out!

  11. Heh, I get so tripped up when I try to read aloud (as my daughter can testify). But boy-oh-boy is it fun to get into it with different voices. If only I didn’t get self-conscious when reading like that. At least I have a TTS program that will read to me on my computer. That way I can pause and make notes in the document as needed.

  12. That’s a great list, Erika. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Heather M. Gardner

    Also…even though we think our MS is finished and amazing and ‘polished’, when it does get picked up by a publisher, they will send it to their editors who may very well rip it to shreds. We have to be flexible and ready to take the criticism. It’s a tough business and we have to be tough peeps.
    Best of luck!

  14. I love your son’s empty bucket theory. Very wise. Reading your manuscript out loud is one of the best things you can do. It puts all those things that still need fixing out in the open. The pdf voice reader sounds interesting. I’ll have to check it out. Good luck with your writing!

  15. Very nice! Thanks for the tips. I just told my daughter that a true writer has a very unique job description but most of the time, we truly love it. Thanks so much.

  1. Pingback: 10 Tips on How to Know Your Story is Done | WordDreams...

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