Keeping it brief

At The Elegant Variation, Karen Palmer has some advice for writers applying for literary awards and contests:

If the guidelines call for a maximum 20-page submission, choose your best 16-page story or chapter and give them that. If a proposal or synopsis is requested and the guidelines say to submit up to 5 pages, edit ruthlessly until yours is 2 pages or less…. My editor once told me that the good sense implied by an intelligent 3-sentence proposal vaults the author to the top of the pile.

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