Cressida DowningI'm often asked how a writer can get their submission to stand out from the crowd. They want to add that special something to catch my attention.

It's a risky strategy. I see submissions that sparkle (literally, glitter enclosed in the envelope), that smile (with a posed photograph), that shout (letters in capitals and a bright red font).

How I react will depend on my day, as there are times when I find these approaches annoying, or funny, or just strange.

I was quite taken with the submission that offered to take me out to lunch - but it didn't do the trick.

The truth is that the only thing which makes your submission stand out is the quality of your writing. I promise that if I see a talented submission, with good writing and an interesting plot, that will shine through.

Good luck!

(editorial consultant)

Cressida Downing will be joining Jo Herbert, Editor of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook, to co-host Submitting Your Manuscript - a new two-part evening masterclass for writers, focusing on the all-important covering letter and synopsis. Read the course outline here »