Tracking Your Submissions

It's as important as Santa's list!

All your hard work is summed up in this simple spreadsheet, exercise book or typed list. However you choose to track your submissions, this list is gold to you. And in many cases as important as the manuscripts you submit.

 

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Please click on the thumbnail image above to view the spreadsheet sample

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Below we have provided a detailed guide to help you track your submissions.

A checklist is an integral part of the writing process, admittedly not as much fun but nonetheless essential in your publication journey. Think of it as a shopping list; generally you don't leave home without one otherwise you end up buying things you don't need and forgetting the things you do. Well that's what happens to me.

There is nothing more embarrassing or unprofessional than sending a publisher the same manuscript twice. You await that all important reply only to read 'you have already submitted this story for our consideration and unfortunately our list has not changed'. Gulp!

Hence, the checklist.

With our lives becoming busier everyday relying on memory, sticky notes or discarded shopping dockets is no longer practical.

It's time to get serious! The best form of tracking is an Excel spreadsheet or for those who aren't quite ready to do away with the old pen and paper an exercise book will also work nicely. The latter is also handy as a quick reference without having to switch on your computer. But with that said the Excel spreadsheet allows you to sort by columns should the need arise.

You can also adopt the same format of tracking when approaching agents instead.

I have taken a snapshot of my checklist as a visual reference. Be sure to include as much detail on your checklist as possible.

Have a worksheet or page for each manuscript you submit. See at the bottom of my spreadsheet eg Arthur, Turtle etc.

Your checklist

  • Publisher's name – Make sure you have the company name spelt correctly. Address in the exact way they have listed on their ‘submission guidelines’ page.
  • Name - a contact name is great, it’s more professional to address your submission to Mr Smith but if you don’t have a name 'The Editor' would suffice.
  • Type – some publisher's sites allow you to submit your manuscript directly through their website. Again take care when submitting in this manner. Once you hit the ‘submit’ button there is no going back to make corrections.
  • Email address – note the address you sent your submission to. This is good if you need to re-email them at a later date.
  • Email or post - with more publishers accepting electronic submissions, emailing your manuscript is a more cost effective method. But be careful when preparing your cover letter. A written or typed letter should always have your contact details listed at the top right of the letter. When submitting by email your contact details should be listed at the bottom with your signature.
  • SSAE (stamped, self addressed envelope) - only required if posting, but necessary to ensure your manuscript is returned with the response letter. Ensure you have enough stamps to cover postage costs.
  • Sent - list the date your manuscript was sent. This is a useful column to use with your ‘response time’ column.
  • Response time - this is where you can list the projected response time. This information can be sourced from the publisher's 'submission guidelines' page. Eg. 3 months, 6 months etc.
  • Reply received – Again this can be sourced from the publisher’s website. If you are lucky enough to receive a personalised response, note that and the comments in this column. If a publisher accepts a manuscript or comments favourably about a submission it would be a good idea to put them at the top of your submission list for subsequent submissions.
  • Comments – In this column use it for information pertaining to the particular publisher eg. How many pages from your manuscript will they accept?
  • More information requested – This is the column you would like to see full and hopefully with the wording ‘accepted’. If the publisher requests more of your manuscript, a re-write or 'we would like to proceed', add these comments here.

You may find using colours on your spreadsheet another helpful tool in identification.

It's important to keep the publisher’s details up to date. Regularly check their websites to ensure you have accurate information. Some publishers may only accept submissions during certain times of the year. The method of submission may change or their contact details could change. Be sure to do your homework before each submission.

Most importantly always, always read the submission guidelines before submitting your manuscript. After all, this is the first impression the publisher will get of you. If you cut corners and don’t follow their request they will be less likely to take you on.

Please see our list of Children's Book Publishers in Australia.

Good luck!

"A tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere."
- Mark Twain

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    Jack Heath
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    Keep fighting the good fight and call on me anytime.'
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    Congratulations Georgie – it’s fabulous.' - jacquelineharvey.com.au

    Jacqueline Harvey
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    Leigh Hobbs
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    Deborah Abela
  • 'Emerging from one's chrysalis of anonymity into the prodigious world of creative children's writing and publishing is a daunting prospect. Georgie Donaghey's Creative Kids Tales is a superlative source of inspiration and information for the bourgeoning writer and illustrator. She has created an invaluable platform from which writers, both developing and established, can view, promote and share each other's work, and most importantly aspirations. A fun, friendly, and informative forum that everyone in the kids' lit industry can benefit from.' Keep it up Georgie! - dimswritestuff.blogspot.com.au

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  • 'If a website can be described as 'homely' or 'a friendly place for emerging writers to visit' then that's how I would describe Creative Kids Tales. It's probably the only Australian website for children's writers that I visit regularly and actually feel part of. When I need motivation, interesting writers to read about, or just a peek at my own 'baby steps' towards being a published writer, I visit the Creative Kids Tales family.' A big thank you to Georgie and Rod for a great website. - www.patsimmonswriter.com.au

    (Pat) Patricia Simmons
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    Dee White
  • 'This is a great website. Nowadays, when getting published is so hard and staying published not much easier, everyone needs all the help they can get. And here's Help with a capital H!' 'Go Georgie! Creative Kids Tales is an inspiration for all writers of children's and YA fiction.' - www.richardharland.net

    Richard Harland
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    Margaret Hamilton

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    Tim Harris

  • 'What a wonderful website Creative Kids Tales is, supporting and helping Australian authors in their quest through the dark thorny forest of the publishing world. Georgie should be congratulated for all her hard work and fearless leadership!' - www.kateforsyth.com.au

    Kate Forsyth
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    'It’s a warm and wonderful home.'
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    Susanne Gervay
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    Adam Wallace
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    I'm delighted to be a part of it.
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    Ursula Dubosarsky
  • 'If there's anything emerging authors struggle with (beyond the dreaded writer's block), it's receiving recognition or even acknowledgment of their work – battling for a slice of that incredibly elusive publishing pie. Georgie Donaghey has created a priceless promotional and networking station that allows new authors to not only share their work, but gain the courage and nous to take their work to a whole new level. Creative Kids Tales is a valuable addition to Australia's burgeoning children's book market.' - www.taniamccartney.com

    Tania McCartney
  • "What a wonderful website and wealth of resources. I wish I’d discovered it sooner - but I can still enjoy it now, and have added it to my list of resources for new writers."
    "Keep it up, Georgie!" - www.wendyorr.com

    Wendy Orr
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    Dianne (Di) Bates
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    Wendy Blaxland
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    Aleesah Darlison
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    Congrats to everyone involved with Creative Kids Tales.'
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    George Ivanoff
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    Keep up the fabtastic work! - www.oliverwriter.com

    Oliver Phommavanh
  • 'CKT is such a valuable site for anybody wanting to learn a bit more about making children’s books. When time travelling becomes possible, I’ll steal all the info from this site and deliver it to my younger, aspiring self.'

    - petercarnavas.com

    Peter Carnavas

  • Writing can be a lonely profession. By necessity, you need to work alone much of the time. But it is wonderful to have a website which eases that by connecting creators with each other and with a wealth of information and resources.
    Bravo! - sallymurphy.com.au

    Sally Murphy
  • 'Once you find an easily-accessible, up-to-date and vibrant source of writing help and encouragement, you should value it and use it! Thanks to Creative Kids Tales, that’s all available, just with the tap of your finger: www.creativekidstales.com.au
    Well done, CKT team!' - janeenbrian.com

    Janeen Brian
  • 'Georgie Donaghey’s Creative Kids Tales is deservedly going gangbusters! What a wonderful forum and multi-storeyed resource for shiny new authors, legends of the industry and every writer in between!'
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    DC Green
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    Andy Griffiths
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    Kelly McDonald
  • 'The details available on this site, for emerging writers (or those emerged) is incredibly helpful. From creating stories- plotting, dialogue and character building- to the support writers can seek for their work, be it mentoring or seeking a publisher, it’s all there. An excellent easy-to-access writers’ site!'

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    Libby Hathorn

  • 'Creative Kids Tales provides such a valuable service. Writing can be a lonely business at times, and seeking publication can be daunting. So it is especially wonderful for writers to be able to access such a comprehensive site where information, experiences and the ups and downs of writing for kids can be shared.' Well done, Georgie! - www.suewhiting.com

    Sue Whiting
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    Jules Faber
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    Aaron Blabey
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    R.A. Spratt
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    Isobelle Carmody
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    Heath McKenzie

  • 'Everything you need is here, on Creative Kids Tales! Oh, how wonderful this would have been for the young Emma Quay, knowing she loved children’s picture books but not knowing a soul in the industry. Down to earth, comprehensive, friendly, realistic and encouraging advice — this is an invaluable resource. Bravo!' - www.emmaquay.com

    Emma Quay
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    - www.franelessac.com

    Frané Lessac

  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a great forum for people who spend most of their working time alone. It is interesting and inspiring to see and hear what other authors and illustrators have to say.' - www.maisyfun.com

    Lucy Cousins
  • "Whether just starting out or with many books under your belt, Creative Kids Tales is the perfect place to go for all things writerly. Sharing the inner world is a wonderful thing for solitary writers, and it's all there on Georgie's website.
    Happy reading!" - tashibooks.com

    Anna Fienberg
  • 'I stumbled on to Creative Kids Tales by accident. I thought it was kid's tails. I'd been doing some research about goats and how their tails were actually a fifth leg, a very long time ago. Or did I just dream that? In any case, I was bitterly disappointed at first to find not tails, but tales. However, while I was at the site I had a wander around, and soon discovered that it was even better than a goat's site - no kidding! This is a brilliant haven for writers, new and not so new; a place to showcase their work and to learn from others.' Well done, Georgie. You've done a fantastic job. - www.enterprisingwords.com.au

    Bill Condon
  • 'Congratulations on a brilliant site, and a superb first year!'.
    Jackie French is Australian Children's Laureate for 2014 – 2015
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    Jackie French
  • 'This site is such a wonderful resource for writers and illustrators at every stage of the journey. I've learned more about some of my favourite people in children's literature here, but also had the joy of discovering whole new worlds of talent.' - annabranford.com

    Anna Branford
  • 'CKT is like the friendly and helpful colleague I could have done with when I started out. Back then I didn’t know anyone who was a writer or illustrator of books.'

    - www.tohby.com

    Tohby Riddle