Don’t Sell Your Work Short By Chryselle D’Silva Dias

One of the first stories I wrote on the road becoming a ‘serious’ freelancer was comparing train travel between London and India. It was a subject close to my heart and the words flowed. Delighted with the end result, I pitched the essay to an ‘about-to-be-launched’ magazine in London. They loved the idea and accepted it for the inaugural issue.

Thrilled to bits, I smugly waited for publication. Months passed. I checked up on the magazine’s website. No updates. I emailed the editor to find out if my essay was still in the running – once, twice, thrice. No response.

Life went on. I forgot about the essay. I was reminded about it when I was surveying my submissions spreadsheet. It had been almost a year since my essay was accepted. I wrote to the editor, formally withdrawing the piece.

That did the trick. She wrote back explaining that the magazine didn’t really take off! A year of waiting and my essay was still unpublished.

Slightly dejected, I did what I should have done in the first place – I sent the essay to the Christian Science Monitor.

Three months later, I got a lovely cheque in the post and one of the best clips I have.

My submissions strategy has changed since then. I now submit to the best markets for my work and then work my way down the list. If my work is declined (I don’t use the word