Unless you’re submitting at midnight on 1st July, there’s still time to give yourself a few hours, days or even weeks breathing space before coming back and giving your work a thorough proofread. Make time to check for glaring errors that are going to interrupt a judge’s enjoyment of your piece.
Proofreading the Unfamiliar
The human mind can be wondrous and inventive, but it can also be downright lazy – the more familiar something seems then the less attention we give it which is why taking a break from it is so important.
Another sure fire way to give your proofreading a boost is to make sure what you’re reading looks different:
- If you predominately write on screen, then printing your text will help you see it in a different light. Use a ruler or piece of paper under each line as you’re reading to slow down and proofread more accurately.
- If you don’t have access to a printer, editor and author Catherine Coe recommends sending it to an e-reader or another device to read. You could even temporarily change the font to help you proofread it.
- We often hear errors (especially grammatical ones) better aloud than when we read silently, so reading your text aloud slowly is great way to hear what works and what doesn’t work. Brave authors can record their text and play it back, or even get friends (or text-to-voice software) to read it to them.
Check back tomorrow for some more top tips before you submit and don’t forget to read the relevant criteria for instructions.