FIRST OF ALL
Send your fiction submissions as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fiction submissions will temporarily be closed after January 31, 2015, so send your fiction in ASAP.
The Queen and I were talking over tea yesterday, and she said that the time had come for me to lay down the law about fiction submissions (and by “lay down the law,” I mean make some helpful suggestions about what I’m looking for).
There are a few obvious suggestions I can give you for submitting in general. Let’s get those out of the way first:
- Read the fiction we publish. You can check it all out here.
- Read everything we publish, actually. One of the best submissions I’ve read actually referenced Donald Dunbar’s POEMHACK in their cover letter.
- Send me a short bio. You don’t have to, but I kind of like having them up front.
- You can also get to know me and the things I like/dislike by reading my own writing or following me on Twitter.
- Read a lot of good things. Here are other sites where some of our contributors also appear:
And here are things you shouldn’t do:
- Don’t send me your full resume, unless you want me to publish it as a piece of fiction.
- Don’t send me “problematic” fiction. You probably don’t know if your fiction is problematic, but let’s just say I’m pretty sick of reading about dudes wanting to get laid and treating women like objects and all that. Gross.
- Don’t send me a file just called “Story.doc” because that’s confusing, and also it’s weird.
- Don’t include me on a mass email where you’re literally submitting to numerous magazines at the same time, as that makes you seem lame and thirsty.
- Don’t be lame and thirsty.
SO WHAT AM I ACTUALLY LOOKING FOR WHEN I READ YOUR WORK?
Ultimately, I want good writing with an unusual perspective.
I also like pieces that have unusual subjects, such as Allison Donahue’s story and an upcoming piece from Chloe Donaldson. I’m drawn to work that is physical and brutal, like this piece from Madeleine Dubus and upcoming works from Mark Cronin.
I also want to actively promote work from women, minorities, and other underrepresented writers, and I appreciate work from those perspectives.
Most of all, know that I’m just a dude with subjective taste. If I reject you, it doesn’t mean you’re bad; it just means I didn’t feel like you were a good fit. I hate rejecting people (unless I also hate you, but I probably don’t even know you, so how could I hate you?).
Anyway, I’m a pretty flexible person, and I’m always happy to take questions about what I’m looking for, what I’m not looking for, why I accepted a certain piece, why I rejected a certain piece, or whatever questions you might have. Feel free to leave a comment below asking a question, tweet at me, or send an email to email@example.com.