Hey, there. Have we met? I’m Jessica. I’m kinda new here. I’m coming to you live (or, to be truthful, the night before) from Go-to-Land (also known as “my living room”). I make cards. Lots of them. Small ones. Tall ones. Pretty ones. Other ones that are not so pretty and end up visiting the circular file (also known as the “trash can”). But what happens to the ones that are lucky enough to survive inspection? They visit a little place where opportunity is always knocking…the land of submissions.
It’s a fun place, my friends. Super fun. And if you’ve never visited the land of submissions, have no fear. I’ve put all of my best submission tips together to help you out.
1. Make a Plan & Plan to Make
- Keep track of calls
You see that little word up there in blue that says “Submit?” The super fab editors at PC keep this section of the site updated with all the current magazine calls for submissions. Keep an eye on this page and you’ll always be on top of what to make.
- Use a planner for organization
This is a system that I’ve developed after many years, many trials, and many errors. I have one office planner dedicated solely to paper crafting. It is not huge. It is not fancy. It is simple and it simply works. I use the monthly calendar to track the due dates and the weekly/daily section to track the specifics about the calls.
- Sketch it out
My planner also serves as my creative assistant. It has plenty of extra space in the daily section to house all my inner brainstorming sessions. As I get a few moments here and there, I’ll get the ideas flowing and jot them down. I include sketches, materials, and any other flashes of brilliance (ha!). Again, nothing fancy. Just scribbles with a pencil.
2. Work Smarter, Not Harder!
- Keep track of materials as you go
As I’m sitting at my work table (also known as the “dining room table”) I keep my planner open beside me. I start a list for each card and as I finish one, I jot down all the materials I used on it. It’s so much easier to keep track of everything while it’s still out on the table.
- Compile everything in a Word document
After I snap a few pics of my hopefully-oh-so-lovely projects, it’s time to compile all of my submission info into a simple Word document. Again, nothing fancy. It’s easiest for me to just type out the materials, instructions, and size of each card and keep it all in one document.
- Use RoboForm
Next I head on over to the submission form (you’ll need to login first). I used to type in all my personal info every time I submitted a project, but now I just use RoboForm. Listen up, folks, because this is the single greatest invention since the paper cutter. RoboForm is a program that you can download that is essentially an automatic form filler. You give it the information once and it will provide you with a toolbar so that you simply click one button to fill out your name, address, phone number, email, etc. It is awesome. Such a time saver.
- Copy & paste & you’re done!
All that’s left to do is fill out all the details about the card. Just copy and paste it all from your Word document into the form. The best part about it is that if your project is picked for up publication, all the information you’ll need later is already completed. It’s also ready to go if you end up posting your cards to your blog or an online gallery (like the one right here… hint hint!).
I’ve been keeping my eye out for the next call for submissions… it will be sent out on Oct. 21 for the May/June 2010 issue. With that thought in mind, I went to my work table in search of some summer fun designs and came up with this…
Here’s to hoping that this little one gets lucky in the land of submissions!
Paper Crafts Go-to-Gal