Our attempt at trying to make everybody happy.
Halloween movies I wont watch: cannibalistic 69…
When you work in tech support you know you will never get a phone call that goes “hey, everything fine here thanks for being there for us”. Nope.
But you know that after and hour of tears and struggles and turning it on and off again, someone will have their robot up and running, and the tears of joy on their face will be a slight payment for your space in heaven.
So thanks for everything you do guys, people know this is a great tool and they will smash it and bash it until they get better, set a template, and start writing so much that the amount of rejections will be minuscule compared to their stories .
This was a fantastic post. Keep them coming.
Chillsubs has been one of the most marvelous submissions tools ever. I never recommend submittable to poets anymore, just chillsubs and they see greater success in getting published through there.
I will say it’s very frustrating magazines don’t adhere to a standard submission guideline when they do accept simultaneous submissions (like page counts). If a magazine doesn’t do simultaneous subs, then eccentricity makes sense.
I still got a bone to pick with the overuse of theme calls nowadays, but that’s another fork for another day.
It's like you read my mind.
First off, the problem with "follow us on the old Jack Dorsey" site no longer works. People are leaving in droves AND majority of the time, the presses don't use the account let alone post the calls. Is social media fractured as hell? Yes. I'm active on Mastodon and BlueSky (and occasionally on IG) but I'm not glued to them. If you don't offer other ways to let people know about your calls, LIKE A NEWSLETTER, then how are people supposed to submit? (And they WANT you to be on social media to "give you exposure." No, thank you. Are you saying your readership won't already do that?)
There is one magazine who sent out a call today. Two separate editors with two separate requests, which is fine. But those calls are only open on specific days for a few hours. I don't know what the thought process is in want in this but I have a piece I'd like to submit, glutton that I am, but I'm already stressing out because I don't think I'll make the submission period. They also don't have any regular submission ideas either.
There is also another magazine that I submitted to months ago and I never got one way or another so I followed up after a few months. "We don't email rejections or acceptances." So, this is how you gain readers is by HOPING they are reading your mag to see if they got accepted? That's freaking stressful.
Now I want a drink.
100% with you on this.
This is why ONE ART: a journal of poetry was designed to be poet-friendly from the get go.
It's absurd and egocentric and downright obnoxious to make writers go through a series of hoops (all of which result in time time time) with the most likely result being a rejection.
Journals that are asking too much of prospective contributors ask FAR TOO MUCH in their guidelines.
Let me say that, in some cases, having extensive guidelines, as ONE ART does, is an attempt to make the process easier. The preference is for readers to review them closely. Ideally, don't change these guidelines too often. That's another burden on writers. They shouldn't have to expect the potential for a massive overhaul in how to go about a submission to the same journal every couple months.
At the end of the day, editors should essentially ensure those who submit that their work will be looked at regardless of formatting choices. While it's understandable that you may not want to open a suspect looking attachment, it's also not that difficult for the editor to email back and say "Hey, can you put this in the body of the email." I have make similar requests, at times. It's personalized and I manage this while also getting a large number of daily submissions.
Don't hate the player, hate the game. Editors are in charge of "game" operations. We can make this so much easier on writers. Or we can choose to make it more difficult. With great power...
Yeah, dead right.
Beyond brilliant, Ben. Just some thoughts on your potential future parameters, from someone who is both a prolific submitter and a litmag editor.
- 'Most of the time, a standard William-Shunn formatted doc fits the bill.' In my experience this requirement is declining rapidly and blind submissions far more common.
- 'Most of the time, a short and sweet professional cover letter, hits the mark.' These are an anachronism from another time. A brief bio should be sufficient.
- 'Most of the time, editors don't expect writers to be scholars of their past works, but expect writers to read something.' Agree that's a reasonable request but only if all or some of their previous stories, poems etc are available to read for free. The pernicious practice of requiring writers to buy a book or subscription as the price of access is an abomination.
And don't get me started on wankers who demand some weird font.
As an editor, it should be your job to glean the best writing there is. Make it simple and get over yourself.
Awwww, as someone who submits every day, as someone who had FOUR of my own books accepted for publication (by 4 different presses) in the last 14 months AND as someone who escorted two writer friends' mss to two good publishers (each ms accepted on its first knock-knock), submission is not an ordeal - - if you are doing it right. Honest! Pinky swear!
Are you keeping a daily writer's journal? Are you?
Then let those pages tell you everything you need to know. And praise for CHILL SUBS.
* * "Vampire Ventures" is now on NetGalley: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/306425
The variability of writers' guidelines is indeed irritating. There have been times I have just stopped reading a set of guidelines and given up on that journal because it shouldn't be more work to offer your work than to create it.