The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Question on Simultaneous Submissions

A student question:

Dear Steve,

  Firstly, I'd like to thank you for all the inspiration. I look
forward to reading your news letters and blog every day. I have a
quick question that I hope you can answer. I know you're busy so I'll
be brief.
  I'm about to try and get my first short story published and I keep
reading about "no simultaneous submissions." Is this is hard fast rule
I should stick to, or should I just send my story out everywhere and
worry about this if/when it happens?

Thanks again for everything!

Sincerely,

Sterling


Sterling:

Each magazine has individual requirements.  If one asks “No simultaneous submissions” PAY ATTENTION.  They ask this because, if they like a story, they will begin the process of editing and publishing, even before they have a contract back from you—and the contract often consists of you cashing their check.

If you’ve submitted the story elsewhere, they can’t publish your work exclusively.  What if TWO magazines accepted your story at the same time?  Believe me, you’re causing headaches for editors.

Remember that you’re not trying to sell a story.  You are building a life, a series of habits…the integrity of the process (including building good relationships with editors!) is far more important than any individual sale. 

Good luck!

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