ReneeAPickup's picture
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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 19, 2011 - 4:30pm

 

When you submit a short story, do you submit to one publication at a time, as a submission often marks an implied agreement, or is it okay to submit to several at a time?

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 19, 2011 - 4:34pm

They (the lit mags) say they don't like simultaneous submissions, but with response times being what they are, that's kind of unrealistic.

Submit to three or four places.  With any luck, the biggest problem you'll encounter is having to send a few emails stating that your piece is no longer available since it's being published.

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Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 19, 2011 - 4:35pm

Usually you can make simultaneous submissions without getting caught, but if you do get accepted, make sure you send of an email to all the other magazines you've submitted to.

A lot of the magazines I've sent work to are fine with simultaneous submissions; always read the magazine's submission guidelines.

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 19, 2011 - 4:40pm

Oh, thank the librarian I have you people. I thought "simultaneous submissions" referred to submitting more than one piece at a time, not submitting the same piece to several places.

Can you tell all of my published work has fallen in my lap? 

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 19, 2011 - 4:41pm

Actually, here's a really good example of what I'm talking about.  Electric Lit is kind of one of those places though that because they pay so damn much, it could be worth the wait.


ReneeAPickup's picture
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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 19, 2011 - 4:43pm

Holy carp. That's an insane amount of time! I'm going to have to start smoking more.

I've never had to submit anything before, and this new phase in my writing life is fucking killing me.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 19, 2011 - 4:46pm

It gets easier.

I take it you have a duotrope account, yes?

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Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 19, 2011 - 4:55pm

It's not so bad once you get used to it.  Have a few stories in rotation, and write new ones while you're waiting for responses.  Getting back nothing but rejections kind of sucks, but you're already part of this workshop so you've got a nice safety net for the lows of being a writer.  Lord knows you were one of the ones who helped me through literary depression, Brandon.

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 19, 2011 - 6:45pm

I take it you have a duotrope account, yes?

 

No...I've only been marginally aware of what it is, let  alone what I am supposed to do with it.

I am wildly flailing trying to find my feet in taking my writing seriously. I was a "professional blogger" and was satisfied with that for a long time, now, though, I really want to get my fiction out there and have realized I don't know a damn thing about doing it, as I have always had an issue with submitting (proud to say I have gotten over it).

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. October 20, 2011 - 7:24am

@ Renee

If you are at the stage where you want to start sending your stff out then you should sign up to Duotrope and give it a try. You will be pleasantly surprised I think. You can search for all kinds of variables, genre, payment, response time, etc.

It is definitely a useful website. A nice feature is that they email out lists of sites that are running themed collections/anthologies, along with all the relevant deadlines.

 

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 20, 2011 - 4:10pm

@wickedvoodoo: Duotrope's mailing list is the only mailing list I look forward to getting every week.

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 20, 2011 - 4:49pm

Awesome, I signed up yesterday. Thanks for the help (and thanks for not making me feel like an idiot)!

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 20, 2011 - 4:49pm

Awesome, I signed up yesterday. Thanks for the help (and thanks for not making me feel like an idiot)!

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies October 27, 2011 - 9:21am

Renee, I wrote a column on this very subject:

http://whatdoesnotkillme.com/2009/08/31/simultaneous/

Good luck.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs October 27, 2011 - 10:04am

I'd obey the "no simultaneous submissions" part of a journal's guidelines if their Duotrope stats show that they have quick response times and ignore that part of the guidelines if the stats show that they're slow.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies October 27, 2011 - 11:36am

^what Bradley said. i do honor a few, like Shimmer and F&SF, Clarkesworld. if they're fast, i just do them first. delusional, i am, though, but wth. might as well, right?

 

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simon morris from Originally, Philadelphia, PA; presently Miami Beach, FL is reading This Body of Death, by Elizabeth George October 30, 2011 - 3:54pm

I submit short works only to those publications that are likely to publish them. I carefully read what they do accept and if my work is not in their ballpark, I do not waste my time or theirs. But I blanket the markets i do discover.

For books, I really searched the publishers' dance cards to see if they had a hole in their portfolio that could be filled by my work. I always called before submitting and I have made 3 submissions in my life and all three were accepted on the first try. These books were nonficiton written by someone who is an expert in my little corner of the world so I had a leg up. All I had to do is write well enough so that their editor wouldn't have to do a serious word by word rewrite and have a topic that made a contribution.

For fiction, well, that is why I am here. But I will use some of the same techniques. As an example, let's say I write a mystery in which a psychologist is the protagonist. I sure wouldn't send it to the same publisher that Jonathan Kellerman uses. Both of us are in that profession and published nonfiction first but I am not ready to play in his league!

MattF's picture
MattF from Tokyo is reading Borges' Collected Fictions October 30, 2011 - 11:39pm

Richard,

There's a mistake in your column.  The Kenyon Review does allow simultaneous submissions.  I'm awaiting response from them now on a SS and your column just gave me a scare--went back to their website and double checked.

 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 31, 2011 - 8:27am

The most I ever got paid for two of my short stories was 250 bucks apiece and I was really lucky that the editor liked my writing and overlooked how amateur I was at the time.  I didn't do a cover letter, I submitted it with a bunch of grammar errors but he liked my overall gist so he accepted them.  I have learned after almost ten years of trying to make it in the writing world that I know nothing about the publishing world.  You can get stuff accepted in anthologies, get your books looked at by publishers and have them talk to you personally but it doesn't mean you are any closer to success.  It takes a lot of blowjobs time and effort to make it.  Or you could be really cocky and send this as a cover letter:

 

Dear Whoever:

Please review my work of literary perfection and marvel at my writing prowess.  You can publish it in your second rate mag but I expect compensation because I know I'm the bomb!  I am way better than Stephen King or any of the other writers out there.  If you don't see this you obviously have no taste and I will destroy you and your tiny publication.

Sincerely Yours,

Genius Writer

101 Entitlement Lane

Pompous Ass, DILF 90210

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies October 31, 2011 - 3:40pm

"Richard,

There's a mistake in your column.  The Kenyon Review does allow simultaneous submissions.  I'm awaiting response from them now on a SS and your column just gave me a scare--went back to their website and double checked."

 

Thanks. They no doubt read my column and changed their policy. Good for them. :-)

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books November 1, 2011 - 7:40pm

Great cover letter! Hope you don't mind me subbing my info in there and using it as-is!

Hahaha.

I gotta say, I was nervous about joining a community of writers, but you guys are great. Helpful and hilarious, wonderful combo.

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Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry December 2, 2011 - 1:12pm

I'm new here.  You guys are definitely awesome and I thank you for your input.  I'd always thought simultaneous submissions were mostly verboten, based on how most magazines I looked at laid things out in the overpriced issues of Writer's Market I used to get.  And Duotrope is new to me, but now I've gotten a chance to glance at it, it appears to be fantastic.

Thanks again to all of you.

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Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry December 2, 2011 - 1:12pm

Oh yeah, and thanks to Renee for creating this post and asking questions I've been wondering about for quite awhile.

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Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading December 2, 2011 - 1:35pm

I like the name of this thread because every time I read it, I think: "Well, it's LIKELY to be an obvious question about submitting... but it COULD be something else entirely, like a picture of Abe Vigoda!" and my face smiles while my heart dies.

.'s picture
. December 2, 2011 - 1:38pm

This made me oddly sad ^

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books December 2, 2011 - 2:51pm

AND NOW IT IS BOTH.

SurLeQuai's picture
SurLeQuai from Indiana is reading The Night Circus January 3, 2012 - 5:20pm

Slightly unrelated, but...
I just started a thread about cover letters. Can't see it. Is that 'cause it only has one response (me) so far? Let me know if any of you can see it, and if anyone would be so kind as to respond, that'd be lovely. Grazie.

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R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest January 3, 2012 - 9:13pm

@Grazie: It's up.

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Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry January 5, 2012 - 10:28am

Just occurred to me, re-reading the title of this thread, that it sounds a bit like a query to a BDSM help site.