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You must prove your ability to a prospective publisher: are you an expert on the subject at hand? Do you have writing experience? Do you write regularly as a part of your job? Do you have any previous writing experience? Have you had work published in the past or taken a writing course?

If you have little or no writing experience, it is a good idea to start by taking a writing course. Aside from providing useful feedback, instructors (who are usually writers themselves) often have experience in the publishing industry. They may not get you in the door of a publisher's office, but they can point you in the right direction.

You can gain invaluable experience and recognition by having your writing published by a magazine, newspaper, literary journal, or even a newsletter. A published story or article will give you credibility, and allow you to gauge the interest in your ideas and style. Literary journals are especially good for burgeoning fiction writers or poets. Contact Magazines Canada at (416) 504-0274 or visit their website at magazinescanada.ca.

Another good way to learn the value of your work is to take advantage of the manuscript evaluation service provided by the Writers' Union of Canada. Contact the Writers' Union at (416) 703-8982 or visit their website at www.writersunion.ca.