We get hundreds of emails every month to WritersDomain Support. These range from questions about Writing Guidelines, keyword clarification, revision help, and site glitches. (And those are just the most common ones.) It’s great to hear from the writers as it helps us gauge how well the editors are doing.
We always encourage you to ask questions or seek clarification if you don’t understand something. But some emails are easier for us to answer than others. Apply the following tips to your emails to help Support address your questions and concerns efficiently and effectively.
1. Provide us with specifics
If you don’t understand an editor’s comments in a revision request, or if you disagree with the comments for some reason, it’s always more helpful to us if you elaborate on exactly why you’re confused or concerned. We can provide you a better answer if we know what about the review needs clarification.
Simply asking for a second opinion on a review or just saying you disagree with it technically gets the point across. But it’s even more helpful if you point out why you found it confusing or troubling. We read the entire piece—or both pieces if it involves a rejection—and all editor comments to build context. And the more information you can provide us about why you’re emailing, the better.
We don’t need a novel from you, and we do ask for clarification if it’s needed, but we can answer you more quickly if you provide us with specifics right away.
Pro Tip: Include the comment’s confirmation number in your email. We can usually track things down if you provide us the keyword, but either adding that number into the email or forwarding the review email with your questions allows us to quickly locate the piece within our system.
2. Be patient
We know it can be a rush to submit articles following a revision, but give us some time to review your question and the piece. We want you to have things accepted, and we want to make sure you’re understanding editor comments. When you send a question to Support but then drop the article, our system no longer keeps a record of it, so we have no way to evaluate your work. This means confusion for you in the future and it often means an editor made a mistake that we can’t correct as effectively.
Often we’ll come back on Monday morning to a few emails with revision questions, but we have no way of reading the pieces because they were dropped. We understand that sometimes time constraints make it necessary to drop tasks, but if you have questions on those articles, save them for us to review so we can put your question and the review in context.
Even though you ultimately didn’t submit the piece, we want to make sure your concerns are addressed and that the editor received clarification of their own if a mistake was made. That way you can likely submit the piece in the future under a new keyword.
So if you have a question about a keyword or review, you aren’t under a time crunch, and you’re working during “business hours,” send us a message and then wait for a response. Our goal is to reply to every message within an hour. Unless we’re in meetings or on break, you will hear back from us that quickly.
3. Take a deep breath
Reviews can be frustrating. We know this. (We get frustrated when you receive odd or unhelpful reviews as well.) It might be your impulse to shoot off an email immediately after receiving a review you disagree with; this is understandable as you want to defend your writing.
But writing when angry or frustrated affects tone, and some messages end up as a venting session rather than a call for clarification. This makes it more difficult for us to decipher your questions because we’re not sure what you need. It’s one thing to say you disagree with a review, but we’ll be able to work with you more quickly and efficiently if you calmly and clearly explain why you disagree.
Be vocal. Clearly express why you’re feeling upset. Defend your work if you think a review was unwarranted. But be professional and courteous—you are talking to a fellow human being on the other end!
Whatever comments, concerns, or even complaints you wish to communicate to Support, keep the above tips in mind. These simple habits ensure your messages are clear, effective, and professional—and it help us, help you! These tips hopefully also help you compose better emails in general, as the basic principles apply to all communication needs.