10 Tips for Submitting Your Best Work

Hello everyone! Welcome back to the blog of The Tower, the University of Minnesota's art and literary magazine. 
As the deadline for submitting to The Tower looms over us, we thought of ten tips that can help you submit your work with confidence:


1. Don't edit when you write

When writing your first draft, forget about grammar, wordiness, or clarity. The only thing that matters is getting words onto paper. Editing every sentence hurts your creativity and may leave you stuck with writer's block.


2. Avoid the passive

If using the passive doesn't help your sentence flow better, then stay active.

Here's an example of a passive and active sentence:

Passive: I was met by Stacy before going to my next class. 

Active: Stacy met me before going to my next class. 


3. Fail to plan, plan to fail

If you fail to plan out time to write or create visual art, you'll soon be in the middle of finals week with no time to breathe.

Instead of winging a fiction piece days before the deadline, plan ahead to brainstorm, write, or go to the writing center. 



In PSY 1001, we learned the acronym KISS -- Keep It Simple, Stupid. I never forgot this acronym, and I continue to use it for my writing.

The easiest way to tell if you're getting wordy is by reading your work aloud. If the sentence doesn't sound like the way you'd say it, it's time to edit.


5. Have someone else read it

If your roommate can't name any Shakespeare play besides Romeo and Juliet, having them read your poem may sound like a bad idea. However, this is exactly why they should. 

While their feedback may be vague, it can make a crucial difference in what you submit.


6. Spend time on your cover letter

Your cover letter is the first thing we read--it gives us our first impression of you. That's why we suggest making sure that it's professional and free of errors.

Click here to read the requirements for a cover letter.


7. Fantasy and sci-fi are welcome

We encourage all genres of fiction for our magazine, including fantasy and sci-fi. After all, many people fall in love with reading because of books from these genres. 


8. Read our past issues

Check out our past issues here to get a feel for our magazine. Reading them can help you strategize how to set yourself apart. 


9. Don't be afraid to submit more than once

While there are limits to how many pieces you can submit, don't be afraid to submit multiple pieces! 


10. Don't feel intimidated

The last thing we want is to make you second-guess your work. We appreciate all of your submissions, and we're amazed by the talent we have at the University of Minnesota.

Besides, what do you have to lose by submitting your piece? 




Good luck on your submissions, and may the odds be ever in your favor. If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to ivory@umn.edu.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 5:00pm


Great advice!