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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process? Learn more.
Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,700 editors.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: Unedited stories.
A: They ask what topics I am looking for. I am always looking for new holistic health information to share with my readers.
A: Our submission process is fairly straight forward. The biggest issue I run into is people formatting their document with spaces or tabs instead of using the rulers to indent. A much less common issue, but one that drives me crazy, is when someone has used a hard enter between lines to achieve double spacing instead of using the formatting tools.
A: The photograph aspect. At times submitters don't submit photograph(s). While some submit blurry pictures, some also send the picture in the body of the mail or the document.
A: Not reading the guidelines properly, or having no personalisation to it at all. I know that submissions get sent out to various publishers at one time, but taking a moment to address your audience is always worth doing.
A: Some think that because the word "southern" is in the publisher's name that we only accept material from below the Mason-Dixon. That is not the case. Others send submissions without following the guidelines, and they're immediately rejected. A few follow up about the status of their submission every day with the evaluation time clearly stated on our website.
A: Either too little detail or too much. Not explaining what actually happens in the book.
A: For some reason, we get a lot of elf stories. Unless you're doing something Dunsanian, no elves!
Look, we can fix formatting, we can add page numbers to the footer of your manuscript, but we can't fix a story that has generic D&D elves in it.
A: They don't submit enough poems or consider submitting lengthier prose and essay.
A: We only accept submissions of individual short stories for the contest or specific anthologies. Current calls for submissions are always posted on our website: www.catandmousepress.com. Read the guidelines carefully and consider the deadlines rock solid.
A: It's always important to know the aesthetic and humanist philosophy guiding a magazine.
A: Formatting. Don't worry so much about it. Content counts. Sometimes we'll give a specific request; in the last issue we asked that submitting writers not send DOCX documents, yet still half of all submissions were in DOCX. Follow basic instructions and we'll work with you on the little things.