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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: In the digital era, we are seeing a proliferation of spontaneous, raw "cellphone" poetry which needs more thought and work by writers. Instant gratification and catharsis are not good for literature and, in our opinion, have a destructive impact on the quality of literature, language and thought. Also, some will send their entire body of work rather than a few poems or simultaneous submissions they will later withdraw.
A: They do not research our niche well enough and submit stories with no mention of climate change. That's an autoreject, no matter how well written the story.
A: We read blind. We read each submission without having any idea of the background or identification of the submitter. We ask that people refrain from placing their names or identifying information on their files or documents. Also, we reserve the option of placing a submission in the next or future issue.
A: Submitting too much, or pieces that are too long. We rarely publish longer CNF, so that we can include more writers. I love when writers submit one, solid gold piece that they have poured their heart into. It shows a dedication to themselves, and it makes me want to give them the opportunity if the work holds value.
A: Believe they can email us every other day to learn their status. Bad idea.
A: Since we are a blind peer review journal, submitters must be careful to remove all personal identification from their papers so they can be sent to a referee. Submitters should also take care to make sure they are contributing something new to the field, not just rehashing an article we published years ago.
A: Sending work too early. On a more pedestrian note, we do not hold writing contests. Each year, we do award four monetary prizes to pieces that have already been accepted into the journal's latest edition. So, don't ask for contest guidelines.
A: Nothing, as far as I know
A: We haven't seen anything overtly "wrong" yet. As writers, we're all trying our best, and we recognize that in our submitters, too.
A: Not following guidelines and not meeting deadlines are the most common sins.
A: They don't read our guidelines!
A: Omitting a bio and/or an address.