The Importance of Reading Submission Guidelines

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but here I am to lecture you about it once again. I can’t stress how important this is.


But most importantly, adhere to the submission guidelines.

As an editor, I can appreciate the importance of this. You might be sitting there reading this and saying, “Of course, who doesn’t follow the submission guidelines?” Well, the truth is that a surprising amount of people don’t bother with them.

For example, I have read several submissions for Into The Well that aren’t speculative fiction. If you didn’t already know, Into The Well strictly publishes speculative fiction. So, it’s rather frustrating when someone sends in something other than speculative fiction. It shows me that they don’t respect me or the publication enough to follow the submission guidelines. Granted, this is a fairly big example of someone ignoring the guidelines, but it happens and it happens more frequently than you might think.

I automatically reject any submission that doesn’t follow the guidelines. I can guarantee you that if I reject a good piece of writing on the basis that the author has failed to follow the font requirements, then other editors will do the same.

As a writer I know it can be frustrating to constantly make adjustments to your work to fit the submission guidelines, but it shows the editor that (a) you respect them, (b) you respect the publication, and (c) you are serious about your work.

My hint to writers is to keep a master copy of each story in a file on your computer plus a back-up up copy stored in a secure location, for example on an external hard drive, a hardcopy in a filing cabinet, or tucked away safely inside your sock drawer. Then copy and paste the story into a new document and adjust it from there to fit the submission guidelines.

With that in mind, here are some publications you might like to submit your work to. Remember, check the guidelines before submitting.

  • Twisted Sister – publishes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and art. Think weird writing.
  • Spelk – publishes flash fiction.
  • Glass Kite Anthology – publishes fiction and poetry. Writing with no censorship.
  • Dear Damsels – publishes young female writers in any form of writing.

Happy writing!

Yours truly,

An Editor Who Cares About Submission Guidelines

P.S. You can find more places to submit your work to here.

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