Sometimes, the difference between "perfect" and "perfectly acceptable" is the difference between missing a deadline and getting a submission in on time. In the previous round of submissions, at least two designers missed the deadline due to technical issues. Your best bet to avoid that is to submit early, and for this round of submissions, that means within the next two days.
Just a reminder: I'm saying here that this is what I find acceptable for a submission to Fresh Designs Crochet. Other publications and editors may not feel the same way! What I'm showing here is an example of how to submit, not necessarily what
to submit (I would most likely reject this for being too plain and simple). This example is going to use my Slightly Slouchy Hat pattern (which, remember, would be ineligible because it's been published already - yep, publishing it myself via Ravelry counts as published).
SUBMISSION: Fresh Designs Crochet, Hats. Slouchy Beanie.
SWATCH: I used a scanner, because I had one handy, but a photo would work just as well, or even better. Because the submission is for a general idea, I didn't worry about the exact color too much. I scanned two swatches, one with a tan background (the cover of my notebook), and one with a bright white background (the inside of the scanner cover). In this case, a variegated yarn was appropriate, since part of the pitch for the concept is that this is a good project for hand-dyed/handpainted yarns that are variegated, self-striping, or patterned. If your submission is for a project using a solid colored yarn, use a solid colored yarn for the swatch.
Either swatch would be fine for this submission.
SKETCH: I did two drafts in my notebook. The first draft is intended for myself, so I can work out the basic info I need. The second draft is cleaned up and simplified.
(note - I've only got two yarn choices listed; that's not ideal. Ideally, I'd have at least 3, taken from the list of yarn sponsors in the call for submissions. However, it's more than one, both of the choices are Fresh Designs Crochet yarn sponsors, and so it's acceptable.)
Then I did a closeup photo (with the camera in my iPhone 3G):
You are probably looking at that sketch photo and wondering if I would seriously accept that. Yes, I would. I can see it and read it. Of course, it will look more professional to have this at least drawn on paper that doesn't have pre-printed lines, and scan it in, adjust it so the lines are darker, and not have the glare of a red light smack in the middle of the photo. Remember what I said about "perfect" and "perfectly acceptable"? If you'd prefer to draft out something cleaner and more professional looking, by all means do so - if you can get it done and ready to submit at least a day before the deadline.
I've set this up in Flickr as a photo set. It's set to private, so here's the Guest Pass URL: http://flickr.com/gp/mizunablog/DH705T
Go through the set, and note the way I've used the titles and the descriptions to provide more information. The descriptions keep it simple, and reference the call for submissions. Showing the editor that you've been paying attention is generally a good thing.
SUBMISSION FORM: So now I'm ready to fill out the submission form.
I've got my notes, and now I just need to fill in the form. I'm comfortable with writing a description off the top of my head, so I don't have one written out in my notes, but that could be a good idea, if only so that I know what I said later on.
That's the screen you'll see after clicking the 'submit' button - see why it's a good idea to have a copy of what you typed into the form?
Now it's just waiting for an email. The subject line will look something like "Fresh Designs Crochet: submission RECEIVED (Slouchy Beanie)" and the body of the email will be a form letter letting me know that the submission has been received. Note, please, that these are not automated emails. The series editor herself (that would be me) downloads the submissions as a spreadsheet and then generates the form letters, includes any questions about the submissions, and then emails each one. At this point, for the submitters, it's just a matter of waiting. Final decisions on which submissions will be accepted are made and then the series editor will begin sending out emails notifying submitters of the final decisions on their submissions.
Fresh Designs Crochet call for submissions information (including inspiration boards) and online submission form are available at Cooperative Press.