This Side of the Submission Desk

I have a unique perspective as a writer and an editor – I get to see what it’s like on both sides of the submission desk.

In particular, today, I’m talking about Unsent Letters. As many of you know, this project is my baby. I currently do the acquisitions, but I’m working on setting it up so someone else can at least wade through the slush pile for me so that only the very best of submissions are getting to me.

I am AMAZED (read: appalled) at how many submissions don’t adhere to the submission guidelines. When I’m in a good mood, I might point that out, and make a slightly lower offer. When I’m in a bad mood, that person might just get a rejection for it.

Okay, so the submission guidelines are somewhat confusing, and unlike some projects, Unsent Letters is just for writers, so it’s tough to get laypeople to understand the way submissions work and I get all that, I do.

But I’ve received submissions where there is no punctuation at all, lower case letters on names and proper nouns, horrible spelling that obviously wasn’t spell checked.

And you know what makes it worse? When I try to email the person and explain why they were rejected, and they want to argue with me about it!

The one good thing about this is that having been on this side of the submission desk, when I’m sending in my work, I make extra special sure to follow the guidelines as best I can to make the editor’s (or agent’s) job as easy as possible. Yes, a lot of acquisitions is subjective, but a lot of it falls back on the head of the writer who doesn’t take the time to make my job easy(er).

If there is one thing I can impress upon you, it’s read the submission guidelines and follow them!

More on this was written here:

Submission Guideline Etiquette: Pros Vs. Players

Submission Guidelines – or – “Can’t You Read?”

If you haven’t sent in your Unsent Letter, why not? Read the blog here and comment on others letters, and read the submission guidelines here and send yours in!

Love and stuff,