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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 1,550 editors.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: Antiserious is not looking for jokes. Antiserious does not mean we are looking for jokes. You got it wrong. Also, please remember to read our call for submissions and only submit works related to the theme we are reading for in that reading period.
A: I guess there are 3 things that sometimes happen - they do not state they have read and accept the Terms and Conditions, they don't make it clear it is a submission to AHF Magazine, or they don't include a bio of any sort. None of these are too drastic, since we will ask them to make clear they accept the Ts&Cs , make sure we know to what they are submitting, and request a bio, but it is always easiest if it is upfront. I guess, also including a covering note that tells me the Editor what the story is about can help, since sometimes it's not altogether clear!
A: Our guidelines are clear, readily available, and easy to follow so it can be frustrating when they are not followed, such as sending attachments, which we state we do not open.
A: Mandy: They send submissions through our query system which is set up for full manuscript queries. There's a separate process outlined on our Anthology Submissions page at www.rhetoricaskew.com.
A: That we accept and immediately put your work on the site.
A: We love getting to know our contributors, and we ask that contributors say something--anything--in their initial emails to us. But we still sometimes receive blank emails with a word doc attached.
A: They don’t follow the guidelines—so they send work outside the submissions window; they send work that includes their name or other identifying information on it; they forget to include an attached submission document with their email.
A: The only thing that I would say is "wrong" is that submitters occasionally respond to rejection emails with frustration or a desire to engage in greater depth. We aren't equipped to do that. Our attention has to be on the journal itself. Who knows why something didn't get in? Submit again later. Try something different.
A: Maybe not something that submitter often get wrong, but perhaps may not know going into it: when we read a piece, regardless of whether or not we accept it for publication, we still send the writer feedback.
A: Our submission process, via our email, is simple, though we are often not fast to respond. That can mean we are in deliberation, we've got a lot of pieces queued up before you, or we're off doing things the way our departed loved* ones did.
*But not all Dead Housekeeping pieces are about loved ones. Sometimes they were terrible. And we don't publish pieces that are clearly idealized or prettied up.
A: Sometimes poeple think that anything goes, and send wildly inappropriate work. Just a short glance at what we publish would indicate what we try and stay away from. We ask that they paste submissions into the body of the email as well as include an attachment if they have special formatting, most often they forget to paste the work as well. Author photos for our archives, that's often forgotten. Waiting four months once their work has been accepted to submit again. But all this being said, I try not to be strict and unforgiving with the rules. That's too much ego. The one that does bother me the most though is no simultaneous submissions. We have had so much work pulled after we've accepted it because of failures to follow that guideline. Please make sure the submission is original to AHC. Everything else I'll usually over look.
A: Many of them do not have their manuscripts clean and polished. The ones we usually reject are manuscripts that feel like they have gone nowhere or ramble around in the dark for awhile before falling flat. Make sure you have at least several impartial beta readers review your book for you, and self-edit as much as possible before sending a submission out. Also, please make SURE your submission follows the guidelines the publisher posts. If you send us a book with 200,000 words, we aren't even going to read it because that is dramatically outside our submission guidelines and shows the author did not read them or respect them.