Read. The. Guidelines

The Death Of All Things anthology is looking for short story submissions until December 31. But let me tell you a little story before you rush off to email your work to us.

Long ago, I was a full-time magazine editor. I do not remember slush-reading fondly. It’s a pain, and as a pro, I want to lighten my workload of “pain” projects as much as possible. All of us at the publisher looked for reasons to reject work so we didn’t have to spend any extra time in pain and could get on to the “good parts” of the process. So, if you want to raise your submission’s chance of acceptance, make it harder for the editor to reject it out-of-hand without even reading past the info blocks. Seriously. We’re mean, petty, short-tempered, and really want a drink long before we’ve gotten through the first half-dozen submissions of the day. Coffee is only the jump-starter for our spite. So take my advice:

Read the guidelines, submit your best stuff, and please format it correctly. I really want to like everything, but I don’t have time to read badly formatted work that hasn’t been spell checked and doesn’t fit the theme. Did I say “read the guidelines”? Yes? I mean it. All of the guidelines–scroll to the bottom of the submission info to find the description of The Death of All Things anthology and the theme (please, no torture porn–we’re talking Death, here, not torment). I will reject things for petty reasons as well as large, just to make my workload lighter. (And you thought I was “nice”….) I want to have too many good stories. I want to cry over rejecting great stories I just don’t have room for. You have three months to make it good–you don’t have to rush. So, please, make me work for it.

If you don’t know what “standard manuscript formatting” is, here are some directions, and an old, but still useful example here (but don’t include the membership info–no one really cares).


About Kat Richardson

Writer, editor, eccentric pain in the tail, bestselling author of the Greywalker novels.
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