Submitting to Anthologies or Magazines

I was inspired to write this based on my experience receiving submissions for my Bigfoot Country Anthology. It applies to any anthology or magazine submission. Read the requirements and be sure to send in a professional document that meets all the standards requested.

I have received close to a hundred stories for my Bigfoot Anthology, (Submissions closing February 1st, at midnight Pacific Standard Time) about a third of them required formatting for me to be able to read and comment easily. A lot of submission editors would summarily reject submission for not following guidelines. I asked for .docx files in standard submission format. If you aren’t sure what that means, do a search and find out.

Things like leaving all the previous changes on track changes so I’m trying to decipher what is the most recent text. To be honest I just accept all changes and work with that. When you submit, you want to submit a clean, final document ready for the editor’s comments.

A lot of people used tabs or multiple spaces instead of creating the indent using the ruler and using styles to keep the formatting consistent through the story. Using tabs or other means of indent means your editor has to go through every paragraph and fix the indent. It is a colossal waste of time.

Even worse were the few who simply dropped their story into the body of the email, meaning that every line had a paragraph break.

I like stories, so I went to the extra effort. It meant an extra fifteen to thirty minutes to put things right. It doesn’t sound like much time until you multiply it by thirty. I had the time to do that. If it had been two hundred stories or more, some calls for anthologies or magazines get thousands, anything that didn’t fit the submission requirements would have been rejected unread.

So please, do yourself and your story a favour. Format it correctly. Use styles. Save it in .docx, or whatever the editor is asking for. Make it so they open your story and start reading without needing to fix anything before hand.