Things to relearn.

So far this year I’ve written some new horror stories.  I haven’t actively pursued having any horror published in a few years and while I’ve been doing market research I noticed a few things.

Horror magazines tend to be far more strict about formatting. Most I’ve been interested in submitting to specifically state that submissions must adhere to manuscript format.

It’s interesting to me that even some of these magazines that don’t do print, still insist on manuscript format when we know that in an online environment that makes for a bit more work on the part of the editors who have to reformat for online publication.

I find this a tad puzzling, especially publications that don’t have a print history.

Especially the sites that I know (because I’m nosy) run on a wordpress type platform. I know how taxing it can be to move text and have it still look right.

I wonder if it is part of the whole idea that if someone follows that directive they are likely to have a better submission? Is it a stopgap measure to immediately weed out the undesirables? A lot of the non genre zines I read and/or submit to have some quirk in the guidelines that is specifically for this purpose.

I would really be into seeing some interviews type things about this.

In the meantime I’m relearning how to do manuscript format, it’s a tedious process. I write single spaced without a lot of formatting or indents so I spend a lot of time trying to make sure I’ve done it correctly. Mainly because I don’t want to get shitcanned because my spacing isn’t perfect.

In my case that isn’t really a problem with following instructions. More an issue of my spatial perception and I can’t always tell visually when I’ve done it correctly. Also a problem with my vision.

But all I can do is do my best. I’m not mad if a story gets shitcanned and unread because I did something wrong. That is an editors prerogative.

I do all right.

In the meantime. While I am getting my horror related shit together, can we talk about the fact that I have a tiny bit of money left to play with and how I”m ordering some lit stuff?

I just spaced out.

Fuck I am so exhausted y’all. It’s been a bad round of insomnia and I am proper fucked. So that’s all for now.

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4 thoughts on “Things to relearn.

  1. Catherine Mazur

    You would be astonished at how many submitters don’t bother to read the fucking guidelines (aka RTFG, aka “ratfig”). We used get them by the hundreds and yes, to be honest, I rejected them by the hundreds for that very reason. If one cannot bother to read the fucking guidelines, I feel—which is really a very basic thing—then I am not, as an editor, obliged to take that person seriously. I have no idea whether other editors at other presses are like this with the guidelines or not. I did read the submissions, though, even when they weren’t formatted to our specifications…and I will say that there was a clear correlation between quality of work and whether or not the author had bothered to ratfig. I would always reject these submissions with an explanation. I’d say about 40% to half the time the authors would resubmit in the proper format, but I guess the others were too put off by rejection to bother.

    Just my two cents.

    (Catherine Mazur = Catherine Leary; Mazur is my married name.)

    1. HI I was actually just thinking about you not too long ago how are you married lady?

      I always wonder about people who ignore even basic guidelines. I mean, I know it can be tedious but sometimes the things I’ve read authors do I can’t even.

      I am so interested in the fiddly bits of being an editor. Granted I have no eye to do it myself and I’m terribly nosy. I always want to know the particulars about the process.

      1. Catherine Mazur

        Well, I am married, and happy to be so. It’s nice to be thought of. 🙂

        I wonder too. You’d think that people would be so paranoid about making sure that their subs get seen that they would be obsessive about making sure they’re following the guidelines. But…no. I would like to be able to advance some theories there but I’ve got nothing. I, myself, read the guidelines an obsessive amount of times before submitting because I am terrified of being the kind of submitter that drives me batshit crazy.

      2. I have that same terror. I will drive myself insane going back and forth between my submission and the guidelines until I have to tell myself to just send the shit. Send it.

        I am the nosiest person ever. I want to see all behind the editorial curtains. I find it kind of fascinating, probably because I’m bad at it myself.

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