Q: Is there a preferred format for story submissions?
Stories should be submitted as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories should be in Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Microsoft Word. Your document should be formatted in standard manuscript format (1-inch margins, 12-pt type, double-spaced) with your name, address, telephone number, and email at the top of the first page.
Q: How soon should I expect a response?
We try to respond quickly, but even that can take up to three or four weeks from the time you mail it to the time you get it back. During high-work-load times, such as GenCon or in the middle of a site upgrade, that can run longer. Also, the closer something gets to acceptance, the longer it takes. You should give us at least a three months before you follow up with a an e-mail, to see if there is any problem.
Q: I'd like to mail you art so you can see it in its original form. Is that all right?
Please, no. Our art is directly commissioned based on the stories we are publishing, and we cannot guarantee the safety of any unsolicited submissions. Send a link to your website gallery or ftp site as suggested.
Q: Are you really likely to accept a new artist or writer?
Yes. In fact, we've already commissioned a new art piece with an artist we have not worked with before. And we have purchased a few stories from up and coming writers as well. It isn't an easy undertaking, be ready for multiple attempts, but perseverance and practice can get you there eventually.
Q: How often can I submit?
As often as you like. General advice has always held that it is best to have no more than one manuscript under submission at a given time, in case you get feedback that would help you improve your next submission. But that is up to you. If you submit more than one at a time, you might get them both returned for the same reason.
Q: Can I submit more than one story in the same e-mail?
No. Please submit only one attached story per email.
Q: I haven't heard back, why not?
Probably because we haven't made a decision on your story. Electronic submission works much faster than snail mail, but we still have to consider your story carefully before we respond.
Q: Will you be offering editorial feedback?
It is difficult at this time to do much in the way of detailed feedback. Time constraints are heavy, and many authors do not react well to criticism, even if offered with the best intentions. Our form letter covers some of the most common problems, and if the reviewing editor has time he or she may try to jot down a quick note for you in comments. Please do not solicit for editorial feedback and simply take any advice offered in the spirit it is given: that the reviewers (if they have time) want to help you improve and to sell your fiction. If you do not agree with their comments, that is perfectly acceptable as well.
Q: Can I fix a story and resubmit it?
In general, unless you have specifically been asked to resubmit, you should move on to another story. This is not to say that your original idea wasn't worth exploring. Experience suggests, however, that writers learn more and improve their craft by writing many different stories than writing the same story over and over again. This guideline is to benefit you as much as it helps us.
Q: Any other advice?
Practice, practice, practice. A nifty idea is not going to sell. A well-written story is. Be professional and remember you are competing on an international stage against other talented people.