Volume 4
An Online Literary Magazine
October 30, 2010


Submissions Guidelines Guide


Shaul Hendel


Caricature of Ernest Hemingway on the cover of The American Mercury, one of leading literary magazines of the 1920s and 30s.


ear literary magazine editor:


Due to the overwhelming number of your submission demands, I will regrettably not send my work to your magazine. Remember, this is a subjective, personal choice; I wish you luck placing your literary aspirations elsewhere.


In the rare event that I do consider your magazine as a possible home for my work, please avoid the following:


--Do not tell me how picky you are: let your work speak for itself.


--Make your submission requirements simple: let the quality of my work be the obstacle for publication, not my ability to comply with tedious demands. Does it really matter if my name, address, and phone number appear on the left top, or right bottom of my cover letter?


--Do not send me to read your back issues before submitting: you’re telling me that you are only interested in publishing what you have already published, and you appear as if you’re scared, tired, or closed minded. The only bad genre is bad writing.


--Get this: multiple submission means when I send you more than one piece of work; simultaneous submission means when I send the same piece of writing to more than one magazine. For some reason many of you tend to confuse the two. But more importantly, while multiple submissions are up to you to accept or not, instructing writers not to simultaneously submit is mean and unrealistic. So either drop it, or change your turn-around time from six months to six days.


--Get with technology: electronic submissions are good! They’re good for the writers, good for editors, good for trees that prefer to not turn to paper.


--Don’t go on and on about the catastrophic consequences of a typo, or the game ending results of a spelling mistake: I doubt that you’d find the writings of a faultless human very compelling.


--Fine, don’t pay me, but pay me some respect: Tell me that you'd love to have a chance to read my work; reassure me that you'd read it with careful attention. Do not treat me like the rich treat money, for if you thoughtlessly waste my precious tolerance, it’s you who’ll eventually go broke.


--And a final word about rejection notes: the sweeter they sound, the more bitter they taste. While a constructive critique of the work is always welcome, please don’t try to sugar-coat your refusal to allow my piece of writing to see the light of day, for it is always a jagged shot to the heart that sinks in heavy and stays forever.


Please feel free to solicit my work in the future, but keep in mind my submission rate is less than 1 percent.


Best wishes,


Shaul Hendel, writer



Shaul Hendel has been a pants-pissing paratrooper, a window cleaner in a holy city, a let’s-stay-friends divorcé, a stick-to-the-point acupuncturist, a father to the amazing number one & number two, a silent meditator trapped in a noisy mind, a traveler who forgot to return home, a you-could-have-done-worse husband, and a should-do-better writer. As an act of professional rebellion, he is not writing a novel at the present. His work has been published, or is forthcoming, in The Externalist, The Pedestal, Pindeldyboz, Ghotimag, Espresso Stories, Lady Jane, R-KV-R-Y, and Broken Plate.


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