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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 1,600 editors.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: They bookmark the "Submit" page and disregard our closed for reading period which occur for 30 days, 15 days before we publish an issue and 15 days after.
A: Our word count is important. Please don’t submit anything longer than 2,500 words.
A: We haven't had many problems with submissions. Sometimes pdfs cause trouble because they can be difficult to copy and paste. Sometimes a submitter will fail to include a brief bio, but we can get this later if we accept the work.
A: Read our guidelines through and follow them, please! It makes it much easier for us to look over all your submissions.
A: We publish many categories of work. Some submitters make their offering in the wrong category, sending it it to the wrong screeners. This delays our process and results in longer wait times for submitters watching their inboxes for our responses.
A: Shockingly, the thing contest submitters get wrong most often is to leave their names in the body of their manuscript when the submissions guidelines clearly state that we read our submissions "blind" and their submission will be disqualified if their name appears in the manuscript. Following submissions guidelines is very important!
A: Submitters sometimes try to make changes long after we've accepted the piece and close to publication. If we accept the piece, we really don't want to be juggling last-minute requests for major changes.
A: I think submitters might think that because we're student-run, we're not going to take the process seriously, which couldn't be farther from the truth. Every piece with even slight promise gets multiple read-throughs, and there's always some sort of aggressive debate. We feel strongly about our publication, and sometimes that means yelling.
A: Proof read, proof read, proof read.
A: I think they forget to submit. We need more submissions!
A: Often, they are impatient. We are a small publisher and only produce four books/year. It takes time to do what we do. Frequently there is rewriting on the author's part. When the work is the best it can be, then, we publish. If people are patient and work with us, we have done great things. I am proud of our work, and our people are committed to this labor of love.
A: The chapbooks are read blind by the judge, so we ask that poets not include their names or contact info anywhere on the manuscript. But we usually get a few submissions that include contact info on the manuscript. Be sure to read the submission guidelines!