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Knight

Registered: 03-2007
Posts: 1356
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I made a big mistake today


I told Mom and one of my sisters that I was thinking about submitting to an anthology but wasn't sure it my story fit the guidelines.
They said I could ask them and I said yeah, but I didn't think they wanted queries.
At which point they're suggested sending my story to the editor to see if it was what they wanted.
Me: emoticon I can't do that!
After several attemps of trying to explain why I couldn't do it (and everyone getting annoyed) I hit on the idea of explaining it this way:
Say you're a diver and you want to enter a competition but aren't sure if your dive fits the criteria. So you go to one of the judges and dive for them before the competition. Does that sound ethical?
Them: Oh, but this is different!

I gave up trying to explain then. Now everyone is mad. emoticon I should have just kept my mouth shut. emoticon

---
I'd procrastinate now, but it would be easier tomorrow.
A fantasy tongue twister: Sputtering silver sliver Sphinxes spit splinters.
6/13/2008, 2:52 am Link to this post Email tryingtowrite   PM tryingtowrite
 
Firlefanz Profile
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Lady of the Land

Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 6873
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Re: I made a big mistake today


*hugs*

That's a learning experience, trying.

Your diving example doesn't quite fit, because usually the conditions for a sports contest are very firm. With an anthology, the dos and don'ts are less defined.

Besides, you should have seen the submissions I got for my anthology! emoticon I'd say that at least a third if not half the submissions didn't fit the guidelines. That was quite an experience, especially as I felt much like you and and always tried to fit as close a possible when submitting.

I do understand your reluctance to submit a story that might not fit perfectly - in the end, however, it's the editor who decides whether he or she likes the story enough to include it. So I'm sorry you ran into a misunderstanding like that. It's certainly ethical to let an editor look at your piece, after all, they are shopping around for stories.

At any rate: Good luck for the next time!

---
- Firlefanz


6/13/2008, 6:31 am Link to this post Email Firlefanz   PM Firlefanz Blog
 
tryingtowrite Profile
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Knight

Registered: 03-2007
Posts: 1356
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Re: I made a big mistake today


quote:

It's certainly ethical to let an editor look at your piece, after all, they are shopping around for stories.


Before submitting it to the anthology? Because that's what they were saying, send it right to the editor, not submit it to the anthology. Which sounds wrong to me. Isn't it?

Last edited by tryingtowrite, 6/13/2008, 1:12 pm


---
I'd procrastinate now, but it would be easier tomorrow.
A fantasy tongue twister: Sputtering silver sliver Sphinxes spit splinters.
6/13/2008, 1:11 pm Link to this post Email tryingtowrite   PM tryingtowrite
 
Reythia Profile
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
Posts: 1883
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Re: I made a big mistake today


I'm not sure there's a lot of difference between submitting the story formally and just letting the editor "look it over". After all, from the editor's standpoint, he's got to do the same amount of work, doesn't he?

So why not just submit it formally? If it doesn't fit the collection, he'll tell you that -- which is precisely what you'd have learned if you'd asked him without submitting it. What are you gaining if you ask before submitting instead?

---
  -- YAR!
6/13/2008, 3:57 pm Link to this post Email Reythia   PM Reythia AIM MSN
 
Firlefanz Profile
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Lady of the Land

Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 6873
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Re: I made a big mistake today


quote:

tryingtowrite wrote:

quote:

It's certainly ethical to let an editor look at your piece, after all, they are shopping around for stories.


Before submitting it to the anthology? Because that's what they were saying, send it right to the editor, not submit it to the anthology. Which sounds wrong to me. Isn't it?



Well, there isn't much of a difference. The editor will read it anyway, no matter how it's been submitted. It's the story that'll count. If they like it, they'll take it, if not, they'll reject it.

I've seen anthologies where all authors were tapped by the editor - in other words, it wasn't an open call for stories at all. Any level of mixes are also possible, with editors asking a few authors on a personal level, while including submitted stories, as well.

In the end, nobody will care how a story got to an editor. All that matters is a good anthology. You really don't have to worry that much, it's not favoritism or anything.

---
- Firlefanz


6/13/2008, 4:29 pm Link to this post Email Firlefanz   PM Firlefanz Blog
 
QS2 Profile
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Shepherd

Registered: 03-2006
Posts: 2138
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Re: I made a big mistake today


Sounds like a difficult problem, but purely technically seen I guess you really should submit it formally. Submitting it directly to the editor seems a little bit like trying to sneak in through the back door, even if only for review, because it could bias the editor towards you. Still, perhaps Firle can more clearly articulate her view on this particular loophole?
6/16/2008, 5:02 pm Link to this post Email QS2   PM QS2
 
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Lady of the Land

Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 6873
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Re: I made a big mistake today


More clearly? Hmmm.

I'd say that submitting directly to the editor is never wrong, especially if invited. It's their problem to deal with any moral issues that may arise from that.

  emoticon

---
- Firlefanz


6/16/2008, 5:16 pm Link to this post Email Firlefanz   PM Firlefanz Blog
 
Reythia Profile
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
Posts: 1883
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Re: I made a big mistake today


quote:

QS2 wrote:
Submitting it directly to the editor seems a little bit like trying to sneak in through the back door, even if only for review, because it could bias the editor towards you.


I agree.

Just write the story to the best of your ability, Trying, and then submit it. If it's not what they want, they'll probably (hopefully!) say so when they turn you down. If they think it does fit their topic, then they'll consider your story, which is what you want anyhow.

---
  -- YAR!
6/16/2008, 7:32 pm Link to this post Email Reythia   PM Reythia AIM MSN
 
tryingtowrite Profile
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Knight

Registered: 03-2007
Posts: 1356
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Re: I made a big mistake today


quote:

Submitting it directly to the editor seems a little bit like trying to sneak in through the back door, even if only for review, because it could bias the editor towards you.


That is exactly what I was trying to say!
quote:

I'd say that submitting directly to the editor is never wrong, especially if invited. It's their problem to deal with any moral issues that may arise from that.


Funny how it seems wrong to some of us but not others. emoticon Just to be clear, Firle, my story wasn't invited.
quote:

Just write the story to the best of your ability, Trying, and then submit it. If it's not what they want, they'll probably (hopefully!) say so when they turn you down. If they think it does fit their topic, then they'll consider your story, which is what you want anyhow.


That's what I plan on doing. emoticon

---
I'd procrastinate now, but it would be easier tomorrow.
A fantasy tongue twister: Sputtering silver sliver Sphinxes spit splinters.
6/16/2008, 11:08 pm Link to this post Email tryingtowrite   PM tryingtowrite
 
BaneBlade Profile
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Shepherd

Registered: 02-2006
Posts: 573
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Re: I made a big mistake today


O.K. I'll weigh in...

First and foremost I believe you should follow the submission guidelines given for the competition, to the letter. They are there for a reason. That reason is not to give all writers a fair shot but to make the editors life easier. Knowing the nuances of a particular publication's submission process is just a part of being a "professional" writer. Editors have a thankless job, entailing piles of paper the majority of which is barely intelligble dreck. Be kind to your editors and make their lives easier by submitting in the format they have requested. Certainly the quality of your work is the number one factor in weither it is chosen for publication, but there is no reason to give an Ed any excuse to bounce your work.

I'll add that I don't think there is any moral reason not to submit to an editor directly during a competition, it's purely professional. The moral argument seems silly because: Our market is a small one, sooner or later you're going to brush shoulders with alot of the people in the industry if you plan on making a career out of writing genre fiction. I know a number of editors in the small press market, should I no longer submit to their mags, because having a relationship outside the competition means that my work will be looked at more closely? Should I no longer attempt to network with editors at conventions because that would give me some sort of unfair advantage? What about all the other writers who go to Cons for the same thing?

I've had editors request more work from me after a competition. Does this mean that I shouldn't send them anymore since they'll obviously take a better look at my future submissions?

If there is any reason to not submit directly to an Ed it's because they didn't ask you to. If you're unsure that your story fit's their format, that's the time for a query letter, not to drop the whole MS on thier desk. Imagine that you're the editor and you're anticipating mounds of MS's a good portion of which are not suitable for your publication. Are you going to want to read an entire unsolicited MS that didn't come through the proper submission process, when the author admittedly isn't even sure it's appropriate for your pub? I bet you'ld be alot less likely to pitch a query letter (which you can read quickly) into the slush/trash/incinerator than an entire MS.

The submission process is always scary for new authors. Learning what specific pubs are looking for is hard at first. The tried and true method of, looking at their guidelines, reading what they've already published, and racking up rejection letters, works. Authors learn where and where not to submit by...submitting. Take heart that it does get easier.

And never talk to non-writers about writing. The first rule of Write Club is never talk about Write Club. That's what we're here for. emoticon

Last edited by BaneBlade, 6/17/2008, 12:32 am


---
...waiting patiently for a few submissions to come back.
6/17/2008, 12:30 am Link to this post Email BaneBlade   PM BaneBlade
 
hadaad Profile
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NaNo Winner

Registered: 08-2005
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 334
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Re: I made a big mistake today


quote:

BaneBlade wrote:
And never talk to non-writers about writing. The first rule of Write Club is never talk about Write Club. That's what we're here for. emoticon



This is exactly true. And hilarious.

---
Reading: Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
Writing: Resurrection edits
6/17/2008, 2:26 pm Link to this post Email hadaad   PM hadaad ICQ MSN
 
Reythia Profile
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
Posts: 1883
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Re: I made a big mistake today


quote:

hadaad wrote:
quote:

BaneBlade wrote:
And never talk to non-writers about writing. The first rule of Write Club is never talk about Write Club. That's what we're here for. emoticon


This is exactly true. And hilarious.


*GROAN* I hated that movie...


---
  -- YAR!
6/17/2008, 5:00 pm Link to this post Email Reythia   PM Reythia AIM MSN
 
tryingtowrite Profile
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Knight

Registered: 03-2007
Posts: 1356
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Re: I made a big mistake today


I have no idea what movie you guys are talking about. emoticon As to not talking about writing with non writers, I'm sure everyone would get tired of me asking questions and blabbing on and on about story ideas and stuff. emoticon

---
I'd procrastinate now, but it would be easier tomorrow.
A fantasy tongue twister: Sputtering silver sliver Sphinxes spit splinters.
6/18/2008, 11:34 pm Link to this post Email tryingtowrite   PM tryingtowrite
 
QS2 Profile
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Shepherd

Registered: 03-2006
Posts: 2138
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Re: I made a big mistake today


I believe they were referencing Fight Club.
6/21/2008, 4:32 pm Link to this post Email QS2   PM QS2
 
tryingtowrite Profile
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Knight

Registered: 03-2007
Posts: 1356
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Re: I made a big mistake today


Thanks, QS2.

---
I'd procrastinate now, but it would be easier tomorrow.
A fantasy tongue twister: Sputtering silver sliver Sphinxes spit splinters.
6/22/2008, 1:56 pm Link to this post Email tryingtowrite   PM tryingtowrite
 


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