This is the first in our new 'how to' series. Various members of our editorial team will be sharing their dos and don'ts for authors hoping to have their papers published with us, or elsewhere. Along the way, the mechanics of academic journals in general, and the BJPS in particular, should become plain. In this series, we'll cover common questions we are asked, and we welcome suggestions for topics you would like to hear more about. Our first installment comes from Co-Chief Editor Steven French, with advice on how to dodge the dreaded desk rejection.