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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 2,175 editors.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: Making sure to follow all guidelines.
A: We receive a lot of poetry that falls outside our purview as a journal of Classics and Classical tradition.
A: Weak plot, generic characters, uninteresting setting.
A: We often receive submissions over our word count. While we understand that it can be difficult to stop yourself from writing more and more when you are engrossed in a plot, we are aiming to publish short stories that convey complex narratives or themes in crunched times. It's a challenge, we know! While we love reading your stories, no matter the length, we simply do not have time to get through your multi-chapter submissions that we can't publish, so please consider this when submitting!
A: Not sending in a bio.
Only sending in 1 ku and subsequently lessening their chances of being published
A: They think we want them to write about their kids or their parenting. We don't. We want them to write something amazing (it can be about parenthood but it certainly doesn't have to be)
A: We're pretty omnivorous, so we may not have a "set style" that's immediately evident. We find the range of writers and writing that we publish to be among the most invigorating features of ballast; we find the diversity of content and style to be a feature, not a bug.
A: They don't read a volume of COOLEST AMERICAN STORIES before submitting--and thus send us a story that's not right for our audience because it's too short, too lacking in plot twists and "wow factors," and/or too much like the stories they read in the typical literary magazine.
A: That doesn't happen very often since the process is fairly clearly laid out. It has happened that poets sometimes submit pieces longer than two pages, but that does not occur very often.
A: They don't read the guidelines or if they have they forget to follow them.
A: Excepting a fast reply because its a blog. They also submit to the wrong category often. They mean to submit to Kelp Books and they submit to The Wave instead.
A: They send their submissions to the contact email address for SWING or to me as the Editor. This throws a wrench in our organization and will certainly delay a response to their work. Submit all work through Submittable.