Posted by: nancyisanders | October 17, 2013

Highlights: Contact an Expert

Okay, now that my first draft is written from beginning to end, it’s time to roll up my sleeves and attend to other important tasks.

I’ll plan to continue editing my article until I send it in.

But next on my agenda was contacting an expert.

Highlights asks authors to include with the submission an expert’s response after reviewing their article.

First of all, I didn’t want to send out my article until all my FACTS are lined up in my article like ducks in a row. As I just mentioned, I’ll continue to edit my article and polish it until I send it in, but part of that editing process will be to get feedback from an expert.

I didn’t want to send the expert my raw first draft, so I worked on it for a couple of hours today until it reached a point where I probably wouldn’t be cutting any more information or facts during the editing process.

Now I was ready to contact the expert.

But how did I find my expert, you may ask?

Well, actually, it took me about 5 minutes. If you’ve never done this before, you will be surprised at how easy it is. Here are the steps I took.

How to Find an Expert
Step 1.
Look at the big, lengthy reputable books you used for research on your topic. Write down 1-5 names of the authors of these books.

Step 2. Google the names along with the keywords “website” or “blog.” Most of these authors have some presence on the Internet these days.

Step 3. Locate their blog and verify it’s the person you’re looking for. Look on their website or blog for “contact me” or “email me.”

Step 4. Send them an e-mail.

See? Wasn’t that easy?

No? I can hear you asking…what do I send in the e-mail?

Glad you asked! Since I’m sharing with you in real time what I really do in this journey to write and submit an article to Highlights, in my next blog I’ll share a copy of the e-mail I sent.

See you back here soon!


  1. Nancy, this is where I have difficulty. Generally, if I’ve interviewed a source for an article, it’s easy to get that expert to review the piece. But I’ve found that just sending an expert an email when there’s no relationship often results in no response. I am sure these people are very busy. Do you have any tips about which people tend to respond better?

    • Kirsten, I have found that people are people. It all depends on the individual you contact. However, IN GENERAL, most historic societies and museums that feature a display on my topic have been very helpful. I’ve had to contact various historic societies or museums for a number of reasons (if there were oak trees in Ireland when St. Patrick lived there, how to spell the name of a student at Little Rock during the Civil Rights era, permission to use a photograph in their collection, etc. etc.) Most folks are happy to help. Only a random one or two have been brick walls or haven’t responded.

      And also, as I mentioned here, you can contact authors of reliable books on your topic. Authors often like to hear from people who value their work…especially if you find they have a blog and include their e-mail on it!

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