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April 4th, 2006, 05:11 PM
When a submissions guideline says that the periodical does not accept multiple or simultaneous submissions--and I understand simultaneous to mean more than one submission to that periodical at a time--am I correct in understanding that by "multiple submissions" means submitting the same piece to more than one periodical at the same time? If not, what does it mean? If so, how would they know?

Plus, given the sometimes very lengthy response times, how is it fair to expect an author to sit by while the submission windows for other periodicals lapse, only to be rejected in the end?

(Okay, that's three quick questions. Who's counting?)

April 4th, 2006, 11:38 PM
In the words of Ed McMahon... you are correct sir.

Multiple submissions means that the magazine wants to be sure they are the only one looking at that particular story or article. Yes this is not fair when they have a long reading time.

One piece of advice I've heard is that this is a rule you can bend if you're careful about it. As an author, you have the right to withdraw a submission from consideration at any time, and you don't have to state that someone else picked it up. If you get caught though, you run the risk of being black-listed.

The best advice if you really want to get published is the shotgun approach. Don't sit idle and wait to hear if something is going to be accepted. Keep writing and keep submitting while you're waiting.

simon woodhouse
April 5th, 2006, 12:15 AM
When I was submitting, I didn't bother with publishers/agents who wouldn't accept multiple submissions and had long lead times. As you say, it's a bit unfair, and there are plenty of publishers/agents out there who don't have such strict rules.

April 5th, 2006, 05:58 PM
It's important that you keep track of your submissions - when you sent them, who you sent them too, when you expect a reply. Just because you sent Manuscript "A" to your first publisher doesn't mean you can't send Manuscript "B" (a completely different story) to someone else.

If you know publisher has a six month waiting period and another a two month, doesn't it make sense to send it to the 2 month one first?

April 6th, 2006, 12:18 AM
Actually you're backwards. Simutaneous means you sent the story to more than one place at a time and multiple means you're sending more than one story to the same place.

and yes, follow those guidelines veyr, very carefully. There are some who throw caution to the wind. Others will submit only to places that respond quickly (ASIM and F&SF both respond extremely quickly and I always submit to those two first) so yes, send it and wait, but keep writing something else. At one point I had thirty stories in the mix for about three months. I didn't find homes for them all, but I had a lot of stories making the rounds.

Another thing you can try is to write specific pieces for anthologies and contests. This way you know that one piece went to one place. Else you will need a good database to track your submission (what's been where) so you don't re-send the same story to the same place. They don't like that so much.

April 6th, 2006, 07:51 AM
Actually you're backwards. Simutaneous means you sent the story to more than one place at a time and multiple means you're sending more than one story to the same place.

maus99 has it right - "multiple" means multiple manuscripts to the same publisher, and "simultaneous" means that the same manuscript has been sent to more than one publisher simultaneously.

April 6th, 2006, 09:30 AM
Thank you all for your feedback. Yes, I will be submitting my first short story in the next day or two. *Fingers crossed* (But I don't have my hopes too high, however, because it is a fantasy that is neither misanthropic nor dripping in gore.)

And don't worry maus99, I fully intend to follow the "rules;" but I had to make sure what the rules meant.

April 6th, 2006, 11:00 AM
I use a table to keep track. I list the story name, the name of the magazine I sent it to, the date I sent it, the date I got a response, what the response was (so far this column is pretty much all "rejections" :p), what the average response time is (which I get from here (http://www.critique.org/users/critters/blackholes/sightdata.html)) and what the actual response time was.

Good luck with the story submission, and if you get a rejection, don't give up! Send it out again to another publisher.

If they accept it, then congratulations! :D