E-book of common & bizarre submission mistakes

Apr 9th, 2010 | By | Category: CG Blog

In conversation with various folk of the small press and magazine markets, I found that every single editor and slush reader has seen some pretty stunning mistakes in submissions. That’s not a big surprise, of course (though some of the mistakes are truly astounding). But as Jaym Gates pointed out in a recent post, “…while opportunities to learn about querying agents, book publication, etc. are quite common, there seem to be fewer resources for learning the same processes about magazine submissions.”

I decided a compilation of some of the most common, and the most outlandish/surprising, errors would serve two purposes: First, it would be an entertaining, with plenty of laugh and cringe-inducing examples. And second, it could be very useful for aspiring writers – cautionary tales of what not to do.

(Of course every market, and for that matter every editor, is different, so there will be some difference of opinion. No matter what, always read the guidelines thoroughly before submitting.)

So if there are any editors out there from small-market magazines or small presses who would like to share a few of their “favorite” examples of submission mistakes, please email me! cg-at-crossedgenres-dot-com. Include the following:

  • A short list (up to 10) of what you consider the most common mistakes you see in submissions. If you’d like you can include short “Why you shouldn’t do that” explanations.
  • A short list (up to 10) of the most jaw-dropping, “I-can’t-believe-they-DID-that!” things you’ve seen. If you’d like you can include short “Why you shouldn’t do that” explanations.

Please include your name and email address, and let me know if you want to be anonymous, or if you would like to be listed as a contributor. (NOTE: I’m looking specifically for mistakes in submissions – not queries!)

This compilation will be free. I’m putting it together as a resource, and don’t intend to make money off it. I’ll make it into various digital formats and make them all free to distribute under a Creative Commons license.


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