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from the Editor's Desk
As a writer, hoping an editor will decide you are the next J.K. Rowling, there are some things you should never do and especially don't do these all at once.
I edit a couple of online magazines - The Lorelei Signal (www.loreleisignal.com) and Sorcerous Signals (www.sorceroussignals.com) and while most of the time, I really can't complain that much about the submissions I receive I did have a really interesting one recently, as well as another that I hope will never send me anything again - unless they both take the time to read and follow my guidelines:
So here are some things you should never do when submitting to an editor:
10) Submit a Science Fiction story to a straight Fantasy magazine - just because you have a ghost in the story doesn't necessarily make it Fantasy.
09) Submit something that has absolutely nothing to do with the genre of the magazine - multiple times - particularly after the editor points this out.
08) Submit something that is nothing more than a religious or political statement and not a story to a magazine that publishes short stories and not essays.
07) Submit a poem that is full of obscene language when the editor specifically states in her guidelines to keep obscene language to a bare minimum.
06) Submit as an attachment when the guidelines say to submit in the body of the email
05) Email the editor after they have rejected your story offering alternatives - such as writing a story that meets their guidelines and theme of their magazine if the editor will work with them to polish it and guarantee publication.
04) Have someone else, like a relative, email the editor that they make mistakes in editing your story. Hey, we are only human and do make mistakes, but you need to be the one to point what you think are mistakes in your story - not someone else.
03) Tell the editor upfront that you didn't follow their guidelines by stating in your cover letter you followed them as closely as you could - and the only thing you did was cut and paste into the body of the email - without following a single formatting requirement or even the correct genre.
02) Submit to an editor who's a member of an organization were you have spammed members looking for blurbs for a book and are now known for being rude when people declined.
01) Email the editor, who shouldn't have replied to #5 and never will again, that if they don't have time to rewrite the submissions they receive, and hand hold the writers; maybe they shouldn't be in the business.
Since The Lorelei Signal and Sorcerous Signals have gone on line all of these have occurred. Approximately half of the above list came from the same person with the same submission.
I must say that do enjoy reviewing the stories I receive and the problems, such as those listed above, are in the vast minority - and I doubt anything will ever make me cringe like one poem I received that would have been more appropriate in the pages of an S&M magazine. Yes, Lorelei and Sorcerous are fantasy magazines - just not that kind of fantasy - thank you.
Good luck in all your writing endeavors