My outlines are not set in stone. Nor should yours be. Often I’ve outlined a short story to realize as I was writing it the outline would be more suitable for a tale of over 3000 words, way too long for most competitions. In a sense I’ve not been sorry about this as it makes me re-evaluate my outline and story and make it sharper, tighter, bring it down to the bare bones as most short stories are around the 1500 to 2000 word mark so they have to be to the point. But the biggest advantage of an outline is you can work out ideas first rather than start writing a tale and find you run out of steam. I also don’t allow myself too long to do the outline. A couple of sessions to work it out and then I get writing… Outlines are there to help you write the tale, not to help you procrastinate (and there are so many fascinating writing blogs and books that can keep you away from what you should be doing - write!).
Check everything before sending it out. Always keep a wide range of envelopes and postage stamps in. Incidentally don’t fold everything so you can get it in a small envelope and use normal postage. For my short stories, I tend to fold once and use A5 envelopes. You can get books of “large” first class stamps (which cover A5 envelopes and weights up to about 100 grams, more than enough for most short stories). Use good quality paper and envelopes. It does show. You don’t want to give the impression you’re a cheapskate! When sending novels out, use two elastic bands around the manuscript and ideally put it in one of the boxes that A4 paper comes in. I’ve found my local stationers (literally just down the road from me) will sell “pop up” bottoms and tops of boxes suitable for sending novels. And lastly do use a good quality Jiffy envelope. Using tape to secure it is fine but don’t use staples. People do catch fingers on them!