Thursday 16 March 2023

How to ask a question or post a comment on this blog

Recently I've been contacted by a couple of people who are struggling in different ways with the technical aspects of commenting on this blog. As this is likely to come up again, I'm putting the instructions here so I can send a link to them rather than keep typing them out. 

1. Find the most recent post on the blog. If you use this link it should be the first one you come to. The date will be at the top of the post. If you don't think it's recent, or aren't sure, click on 'home' which can be found on the left towards the top of the page.

(All examples are screen shots - clicking on those won't do anything.)

2. Read or scroll to the bottom of the post. There you will see information such as who made the post, labels for other posts on the same subjects, buttons to share the post. There will also be the word 'comment' if nobody has yet commented or a number and 'comments' showing how many comments have so far been made. Click on that.

3. You'll be able to see any comments already made (well worth a read as people frequently answer the questions raised by others, share useful links, tips and encouragement). Below the comments you'll see this –

4. Type your comment or question in the big box. 

5. Choose an identity, by clicking on one of the little circles under where it says 'Choose an identity'. There are three options.

If you're signed into an appropriate account you'll see your name where this example shows 'Google account'. You can leave that as it is, or pick one of the other two options. 

If you click the middle one (Name/URL) you'll see this.

Type a name in the box after where it says 'Name'. That can be your real name, nickname, writing name, initials.

If you have a blog or website and would like a link to that displayed then you can copy that into the URL box. You don't have to do that.

Alternatively select 'Anonymous'. If you choose that one it will be helpful if you can add a name, initials, nickname or number somewhere in your comment. That just makes it easier for people to respond to you.

6. Click in the box next to where it says 'I'm not a robot' (even if you are!).

7. Click on the button which says 'Publish Your Comment'.

That's it - you're done. You deserve cake! Once you've done it a few times it will seem much easier, I promise.

Feel free to try it out by replying to this post (even once it's got old) telling me your favourite colour, guessing what mine is, or even talking about writing! You can try all the options if you like, to see how they look. Of course those who already to know how to comment are welcome to join in.

Usually your comment will appear immediately. Sometimes comments are moderated, meaning I need to press a button to make them appear. If that's the case, there should be a pop up message saying so.

In case you're wondering – If you use the first identity option, I will be able yo see your email address. I and others will be able to identify you. If you use the middle option and copy in a link, it will be possible for me and others to identify you that way. If you choose the middle option and don't copy in a link, or choose the anonymous option, all I or anyone else will see is the name, initials etc you choose to give yourself. 

Even when comments are 'moderated' I allow all except those which are obviously spam, are truly offensive or are anonymous rants. In all the years I've been blogging, other than spam, I've deleted fewer than five such comments. If a post is clearly a duplicate due to a technical difficulty I'll probably delete that too.

If you have a blog yourself – Feel free to link to these instructions if they might help your readers. If it's a writing blog you think my readers might enjoy or find useful, comment here with a link and I'll add it into the list below.

Other writing blogs you may like to visit –

For those new to this blog, this is me. I regularly share information about submitting to various markets, particularly woman's magazines and also maintain a database of that information, I share links to free entry competitions and generally chat about writing. I also randomly sprinkle posts with photos from my garden, baking sessions or adventures in the mobile writing retreat (campervan).

The next scheduled post Saturday 18th March. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you Patsy! Kind regards, Sue

Patsy said...

@ Sue - hooray, it worked!

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone,
Being an (older) bear of very small brain - I should be very grateful for some advice from the community please.

My query, please, is this - as a previously published writer for both TABFF and My Weekly and wishing to submit to them again, I now find that they are closed to unsolicited submissions.

I have been trying in vain to find a name and email address for the fiction editor of both of them so that I can write a polite letter to ask them, as a previously published writer, would they allow me to submit again.

Have you any advice or suggestions how this could be achieved please? And - crucially - am I wasting my time?

Only being anon because everything seems a bit complicated but I am Sue.

Thank you all very much for any kind advice. Best regards, Sue

Patsy said...

@ Sue – You're quite right that both these markets are closed to unsolicited submissions. In both cases when this policy was brought in, those writers 'on the list' were contacted and told how to submit. If you were on either list at that time I'm fairly certain you'll be able to submit to them now, even if you've not done so for a while. I believe the emails are still the same - they both start with the magazines initials, not a person's name.

If you weren't on the list, or aren't sure, but were previously published by that magazine then I think it's likely to be worth asking, but of course they may say no.

For anyone who hasn't been published by the magazine before I suspect the request to be added to the list would be declined (or ignored).

Patsy said...

@ everyone – I have a policy of only giving out information which is already available online (even if it's usually hard to find) or which the editor or whoever has given me permission to share.

In some cases there may be value in sharing information that can't be obtained elsewhere, but on balance I feel this blog can be most useful if those suppling me with information trust me only to share what they want shared, or which is already 'out there'. I'm not just protecting editors. If I, for example, happen to learn your pen name or any personal details, I wouldn't pass those on to anyone without your permission.

Anonymous said...

Dear Patsy,
Had such trouble already trying to find the email address - hence my appeal to your community - could you remind me please? Thank you very much. Kind regards, Sue

Anonymous said...

Dear Patsy,

Very sorry, didn't see your second blog sent 0949 - only just read it now. Please disregard my last comment, sent 0955. Perhaps they crossed in the post!
Apologies. Thank you. Kind regards, Sue

Anonymous said...


From Me.

Linda Casper said...

I wish all instructions for technical matters were so well explained!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry people are having problems. Yours is a popup box rather than embedded which makes it even easier for me to comment.

Sharon boothroyd said...

Sue, I don't think anyone would feel comfortable posting fiction ed's email addresses here, which is a public arena.
As Pasty advises, I'd make an enquiry via the mags general email address first and see where you go from there.
I've tried to get on the Best mag writer's closed list several times, but have had no luck.
A bit of a warning about TAB fiction feast - new writers that are added to the list can be bombarded with a lot of a unnecessary forms to fill, in order for them to be paid.
A new writer asked for my advice.
I said you only need to sign the contract.
However, they felt unable to proceed, as the mag was pushing them to fill the forms in.
In the end, they refused and asked the mag to donate their fee to charity.
I don't know if this was done, but the stressful experience put the writer off writing and subbing for the mag again.
Other news:
There is no 'spooky story' slot in the new issue of monthly TAB fate & fortune mag.
The fiction was re-published material from TABFF and the writers didn't receive any extra payment.
It makes me think that they were using fiction to pad out the pages.
The Writers' Forum mag prize for the published Newsfront pieces and their star letter has been been cut to £25.
The prizes used to be a year's WF mag subscription.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sharon,

I really appreciate all your kind advice and information.

Gosh, it's a minefield isn't it? Think I shall redirect my efforts elsewhere.

Thank you very much. Kind regards, Sue

Sharon boothroyd said...

Despite what people say, it is possible to get onto a mag's closed list.
The writer I mentioned last year did it with TABFF, so I thought it was worth outlining their experience of that.
With other mags, such as Best and MW - never say never.
It may take time. If the current climate is a firm no, leave it for a while and try again later.
I don't know if I'll be accepted on the Best mag list but other womag writers have done it, so it's worth a go!

Sheelagh said...

Interesting info, thanks Sharon

Marian said...

Thank you, Sharon, that's good advice.