1. GazingAbyss
    Offline

    GazingAbyss Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada

    When to send a follow-up to a story submission?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by GazingAbyss, May 30, 2013.

    Is there a consensus on a good amount of time to wait before sending a follow-up to ask what the status is on a story submitted to an online magazine? I realize most magazines will give you an idea on their submission guidelines, but this one has nothing. A few details first:

    This magazine is clearly fairly small, so their editor(s) could easily be overtaxed. On the other hand, I sent my story on the first day of a submission period, and they have now been closed to submissions for a week. As well, I've sent a story to the same magazine once before, and they got back to me in just over two weeks (it's now been eight weeks).

    I don't want to annoy any overworked editors, and I know it can take some time to get through a glut of stories, but I don't know what the appropriate time to wait is when there are no guidelines. Can anyone help me out?
     
  2. The Peanut Monster
    Offline

    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I'd say if its been 8 weeks, a follow up is not unreasonable.

    EDIT: I just re-read that submissions closed a week ago. I'd wait two weeks after submission period, then email.
     
  3. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    If submissions has only been closed for one week, then I do believe you're panicking over nothing. C'mon, why would you start contacting writers before you've received everyone's submissions? What if you contacted one before the closing just to realise the real gem came in on the day when submissions closed, but now that you've contacted the first guy, you no longer have space for the real gem you actually want? It's plain embarrassing and just bad practice.

    In other words, why would you expect them to have read your work already? It's only been a week - they probably have hundreds of submissions. It's not been eight weeks - it matters not when you submitted it, but when the editors started reading, which would presumably be when submissions closed. It's only been one week, not eight. Get that right, and I think you'll calm down :)
     
  4. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ditto that!
     
  5. Anthony Martin
    Offline

    Anthony Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    San Diego
    I agree with the above posts. In my experience with literary magazines, responses usually go out at least a couple weeks after the reading period is closed. I also empathize with the anxiety and impatience that comes with litmag submissions. All part of the game.
     
  6. GazingAbyss
    Offline

    GazingAbyss Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks for all the input. I realize that, in general, the date to start measuring time from is when a reading period ends, but what if the magazine attempts to remain open to submissions at all times? What I mean is, technically this magazine doesn't have set submission periods, and it's really determined by how full their inbox is. Do I still treat it how I would treat other reading periods?
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    yes, if there's a deadline specified...
     
  8. Anthony Martin
    Offline

    Anthony Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    San Diego
    Ideally, the magazine will give you some when-it-is-OK-to-send-a-submission-query information ("If you do not hear back from us after four months, send query submissions to ..."), though this isn't always the case. If it isn't, my antidote to the waiting game is to submit my work to several other markets (most accepts simultaneous submissions) and then, if I am accepted elsewhere, withdraw my submission from Waiting Game Review. This way your submissions are on a continuum and you don't find yourself waiting in vain for that one submission you really wanted a positive answer on.
     
  9. GazingAbyss
    Offline

    GazingAbyss Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Update: The magazine's just re-opened to submissions. That seems weird to me, but I'll wait a bit longer before I query...
     
  10. DopePoet
    Offline

    DopePoet New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is sending a follow-up to publishers standard?
     
  11. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    only if the waiting time goes way beyond what they state as their normal response time... i usually advise giving agents and publishers at least an extra month or even two, before following up...
     
  12. Anthony Martin
    Offline

    Anthony Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    San Diego
    I have a one-off that fits here (as opposed to starting a new thread):

    I had a piece accepted to a literary magazine a two months ago. It will be published (I signed publication agreement) in the Fall 2013 issue of said magazine. The editor wants to work with me on a certain part of the piece. In our email correspondence, the editor left off with "I will follow up once things clear up and we'll talk about revisions." A follow-up email crossed my mind as a good way to get back in touch, though my gut is telling me just wait for him to get in touch since I signed the publication agreement.

    What do you think?
     
  13. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i think you're wise to wait... if you haven't heard from him in a month, then i'd suggest a polite email or phone call...
     
  14. Anthony Martin
    Offline

    Anthony Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    San Diego
    I probably shouldn't have sent that handwritten hate-mail then, huh?

    OK thanks, mammamaia -- sounds sensible.
     

Share This Page