It’s all change at The People’s Friend today when they move in their new offices in Albert Square (which just so happen to be their old offices too). Make sure you update your contact address book with the relevant details.

It’s a reminder of how important it is to stay up-to-date with magazine contacts. Not only do publications move, there are editorial changes, and even takeovers by rival publishers. What impression do you think you make when you send something to an editorial contact who no longer works for the publication, at an old address, and when the publication was owned by a different publisher? All good reasons for checking everything in the latest copy.

And up-to-date contact details work both ways too. Is your contact information on every sheet of paper you send? It’s not that long ago that a fellow writer submitted a story to a magazine with her only contact details on the cover sheet. So when the cover sheet became separated from the submission, the editor had no idea who’d written it. Thankfully, the editor put a call out online and, through social media connections, the writer was traced. But not every editor is as dedicated as that.

Of course, there are times when contact information is only required in specific places. Many competition entries are judged blind and therefore, in order for this to be achieved, no identifying marks are permitted on the entry. (Usually full details are required on an entry form.) As someone involved in the Doris Gooderson Short Story competition administration, it always amazes me how frequently this rule is broken. And if it is a rule, then the rule is broken and the entry has to be disqualified. Why lose your entry fee for such a simple contact mistake?

If you regularly approach people for quotes and research for your work, make sure you add their contact details to your address book (or contacts system). Many email programmes collect the email address automatically, or can send it to your address book with a right-click of your mouse. But when you capture a new contact add as much information as you can including:

  • the date you obtained this information,
  • why you made contact (perhaps a particular project you’re working on),

And don’t forget to back up your contacts data on a regular basis.

When it comes to the business of writing, contact information is vital, as long as it is up-to-date, relevant, and in the right place.

Good luck.