I should have made this the #1 thing I shouldn’t have to tell you. I really should have, because it’s huge and so obvious.
I shouldn’t have to tell you to read the submission guidelines.
Seriously. You think you know what they say, but you don’t. Read them. I will know that you haven’t. I really will and it’s not going to pre-dispose me to like your submission. Seriously, at least read the short version, it’s right up there at the top and it says:
Simultaneous submissions: Yes
Attached as .doc or .rtf files – NOT in the body of email unless they are poetry
I highly suggest reading the long version because I am rejecting stories unread if they fail to follow the guidelines. I don’t have time to do otherwise
Do you have any idea how many submissions I get that are indented? Would you care to guess how many of them I read?
If you read the long version it says:
Do not tell me what your story is about or include a synopsis in your cover letter. Let the story sell itself.
Would you care to guess how many submissions arrive with a synopsis?
The end of the submission guidelines says:
My name is Rhonda Parrish. I am not a ‘sir’ and I get cranky when you address me as such.
The magazine’s name is Niteblade. Not Nightblade, not Niteblayde, not even Knightblade. It’s Niteblade. I get cranky when you spell it wrong.
I get cranky when I have to read stories in the body of an email (poems are okay).
If your submission includes a synopsis I’ll know you haven’t read these guidelines and I’ll be cranky.
It’s best if I’m not cranky before I even start reading your submission.
I quite often get submissions that reference the fact they didn’t want to make me cranky. That tells me they read the submission guidelines and makes me like them right off the bat. That puts me in a good mood before I read their submission, which makes me more likely to enjoy it. You don’t need to tell me you don’t want to make me cranky for me to know you’ve read the guidelines — following them tells me that.
I love people who follow the submission guidelines.
ETA: I had bad timing for posting this. I apologise. In response to a couple comments on my Facebook about this post I would just like to re-assure people this has nothing to do with reading for the new Niteblade anthology. It’s an ongoing issue not specific to the new anthology (which I haven’t started reading for yet).