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What’s the best way to make sure your poems, short stories, and novels are submitted to literary agents or editors in their very best light? By making sure your work looks professional, and by making sure it’s not full of grammatical, punctuation, and/or spelling mishaps.
Creative writing is, well, is a creative process: When the ideas are flowing, the last thing you want to worry about is your placement of semicolons or the correct spelling of “jacaranda.”
But once your ideas are down on paper and you’re satisfied with the result, checking for grammar, punctuation, and spelling becomes a necessary part of the submission process. No editor will be impressed with your dramatic storyline or unique perspective if your work is peppered with mechanical problems. (See our article on Perfecting Your Personal Proofreading.)
Sometimes a love of the language isn’t enough—a good grasp of the nuts and bolts of writing is required to let your words flow eloquently. Your options? Work with a proofreader. Or, you can brush up on your language skills and revisit the wonderful world of grammar and punctuation.
The following Web sites provide some fun (yes, even spelling tests can be fun!) and illuminating grammar quizzes to help you identify your weakest areas. And you’ll be improving your craft—one comma at a time.
Still having problems? Don’t have time for details? Have the expert proofreaders at Writer’s Relief give your work a final polish. We are also happy to provide our free newsletter Submit Write Now! for writers that contains many more articles on the mechanics of writing, including grammar, punctuation, confusing words, and other tricky areas.