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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 2,100 editors.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: Most often. writers are anxious to be published before the work is ready. They impose artificial timetables for their publishing goals.
A: Including names in the manuscript is probably the number one issue. We can't consider your work anonymously if your identifying information is plastered all over the collection. Ctrl-F is your best friend! If removing your name would shatter the experience (for instance in a ghazal or a memoir), please substitute your name with a pseudonym and indicate as such on the title page of the manuscript.
There's also the issue of submitters withdrawing, then resubmitting their work because they caught a minor error with their submission that they needed to fix. Believe it or not, but that actually creates more work for us! Not to mention, who has that kind of money to be sending it in again!? So just email me directly - [email protected] - and let me know what the issue is and I'll help you resolve it in the most efficient way possible, if it's even something that really needs attention.
A: Writers sometimes exceed our recommended word count.
A: They think decisions are made immediately. It may take a couple months to receive a reply.
A: I am not a huge stickler for this. Send your recipe as an attachment, with your name on it, while we're open, and you're doing great! Sometimes authors will be worried about a typo, or a minor mistake in the cover letter: these do not affect my decisions at all.
A: Our guidelines ask for concise cover letters, which is frequently (frequently) ignored. Again, many submissions are outside our genre, even if well-conceived and well-written.
A: Not sure how to answer this. We haven't had too many issues with our process. Most submitters are sensitive to our dedication to this project, which we must balance with our jobs and personal lives.
A: The two main hiccups we see are stories submitted outside of the form and word counts all over the place outside of our listing.
A: The only "wrong" that you can do is to no submit at all. We have nothing to read if you don't submit. We are usually pretty flexible with issues that arise. If you have edited something between the time you have submitted and the present, email us. And if we accept your work, there will be time to edit your entry further. We recognize that writing and art is a process. And yes, we do all of our review through our submission manager, but we do understand that things happen. We can make things work. We appreciate you working with us as we work with you. Having a good experience in the process only helps to promote this amazing community and the spaces that our literary journals occupy.
A: They fail to follow submission directions (e.g. include all of your poems in ONE Word document), and they clearly haven't read a copy of the magazine before submitting.
A: They sometimes need to pay more attention to the reading and submission period at the beginning of the year.
A: Telling instead of showing