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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 2,050 editors.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: For our contests, we ask for submissions of entire manuscripts, not partials. Please submit the whole thing!
A: Some submitters include only a poem or two instead of sharing the full manuscript. Some submitters send a physical manuscript instead of a digital submission.
A: The submission window—when to submit.
A: Failing to follow the guidelines; for example, pasting poems into an email instead of attaching them in a document or forgetting to provide a 3rd party bio.
A: We do appreciate content notes (which are encouraged, not required), given that a lot of eco-writing is heavy, and many of our readers are Wooster students.
A: We publish work regardless of status in academia and background.
A: 1) They assume modern haiku are 5-7-5 haiku, they're not.
2) They try to explain their haiku to me in their submission email. I don't need haiku to be explained. If I don't get it, it won't be published.
3) They don't provide me with the information requested which makes my job at processing and curating the haiku very difficult.
A: Not understanding what we're looking for. We get a lot of pitches for stories about writing, rather than reading. We get pitches for stories that are not relevant to the subject matter (fiction pitches, essays or poems about unrelated subject matter). It's so important to be familiar with the style and subject matter of a magazine before you pitch. Otherwise, why are you pitching? It's also always obvious when someone is sending multiple identical pitches, because there's nothing that indicates that the submitter knows what you do. Oh, and don't EVER send a copied-and-pasted pitch that refers to a different publication. *Face palm*
A: When they don't even use my name in the cover letter. Dear Sir/Madam doesn't cut it.
A: Not bringing the right gothic tone, including atmosphere and themes. Trying to make the piece too modern for my taste.
A: They send us material that doesn't fit our criteria, or that is just a sample without a summary to help us understand the whole work.