Editors Weigh In: What’s Your Submissions Process?

This week, we asked our editors about how they choose where to submit work and how (if) they keep track of things! Take a gander at their musings below.

Hayli May Cox, Assistant Nonfiction Editor
I’m one of those writers who doesn’t send their work out often. When I write something, I let it breathe for a while before I decide where I want it to live. Most often, I choose to send to only one or two of my favorite journals (publications I admire and read), and then I wait before sending to one or two more places. Of course, this often means waiting a while for a rejection—but when a piece does find a fantastic home it makes the news that much more exhilarating.

Melissa Wiley, Nonfiction Editor
For the most part, I’m a void sender, normally forgetting where I’ve sent various pieces until I receive a rejection, though I do use the annual deadlines of a few indie presses to motivate me to try and finish whole books within a certain timeframe. Despite this almost never yielding results—the same goes with submitting to contests for various literary magazines—I like the feeling or illusion of structure that a couple deadlines a year can offer. Some order in this creative chaos for me is a good thing, though chaos still tends to reign.

Eric Rasmussen, Fiction Editor
Carpet bombing journals is bad. For sure. At the same time, most of the stories I’ve published had been rejected at least a few dozen times before finding a home. So I follow advice I’ve seen from a few authors (Benjamin Percy’s Thrill Me springs to mind as an immediate source): I keep five to ten live submissions per story at a time, starting with the big dogs and working my way down to more modest outlets. And given the times I have four or five stories in the mix, and given the fact that I’ve fully succumbed to an addiction to checking feedback data, I’m a Duotrope subscriber.