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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: I get a lot of submissions emailed to us instead of using our Submittable platform, which is the most-process related thing. I got an email recently, while our submission period was closed, that stated that the author would “allow” us to publish their work for a certain amount of money, so that was a bit strange.
A: Submitters will sometimes submit under the wrong genre (poetry under fiction, or CNF under art). It messes up our queue and runs the risk of pushing the piece to the end of the consideration process.
A: They send us the cover they've designed with their manuscript.This shows us that they have no idea what the publishing process entails. We welcome novices, but some knowledge of how it works goes a long way. An author is not a cover designer. Authors are writers.
A: Submitting articles which repeat material which has appeared in previous issues, because the writer hasn't checked the KJ archive.
Submitting articles that are too long.
Failing to engage with previous criticism of Kipling, either in the KJ or published elsewhere.
A: We often get poems typed into the body of an email, rather than attached pieces. It's cumbersome, certainly with respect to formatting.
We get the occasional poem that hasn't been sufficiently proofread. It's always good practice to read your work aloud and double-check before you hit send.
A: Sending us prose that is longer than we ask for in the guidelines, and submitting to the wrong category (submitting a chapbook submission under Poetry instead of under Chapbooks, for example).
A: They don't read the guideline which states clearly that we are not a periodical and accept only booklength submissions. Of course, booklength varies: a chapbook is 42 pages or fewer. However, we continue to get individual poems or short-short pieces of fiction.
A: They attach the piece instead of embedding the piece in the body of the email, which gets it caught in the spam filter.
A: I've noticed male writers in particular don't read my rejection emails closely and submit two weeks later instead of waiting four weeks or longer before having another go. The four week rule is there for a reason - to enable new voices and to allow the writer time to edit another piece or reflect or write another story or poem.
Writers can forget to notify me if their piece has been accepted elsewhere or worse send us into a bit of a spin when withdrawing a piece which was never submitted!
A: Asking a litany of questions rather than reading the submissions guidelines.
Pasting their work into the body of the email and then attaching their bio as a file. Per our guidelines, we prefer the file, so if you can use the file for everything, do that, please.
Arguing with us or attempting to insult us in response to a rejection. We do not accept any future submissions from such individuals, and there are many instances of authors being rejected initially and then going on to have future submissions accepted.
A: The Journal of International Social Research wants the articles to be scientific and original.
The Journal of International Social Research does not care about the identity of the authors.
The Journal of International Social Research has no charges for article processing and submission. When an article is accepted for publication, authors are required to pay. Page charges do not apply to feature articles.
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.