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  1. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody The Ole Razzle-Dazzle Contributor

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    How long should an excerpt be?

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by J.T. Woody, Feb 13, 2019.

    I'm submitting a novel excerpt and the editor in the submission guidelines only asked for a "novel excerpt" from a "novel in progress" and to "please decide what you want us to read the most"

    Well, there is no contact information and the email button is a dead link. I have about 2,100 words I'd like to send, but is that too little? Should I include more of what I have?

    Has anyone submitted novel excerpts before?
    What were they asking?
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    That sounds about right. Short enough to be palatable, but not long enough to be gratuitous.
     
  3. The Piper

    The Piper Contributor Contributor

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    I'd say the length is about right, but I'd be wary of the fact that you have no contact details and no working email. I don't know if you're submitting to a publisher/agent or some other kind of scheme but make sure everything's legitimate and up-to-date. Probably is, I don't know the situation, just have bad experience with publishers with shady/missing contact details.
     
  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    Is this an editor at a publishing house or a freelance editor or something else? It sounds really strange.
     
  5. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody The Ole Razzle-Dazzle Contributor

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    I ended up finding the contact detail on another page. Its a Lit journal from this really old university in Virginia thats been around since the '50's -60's that branched off from the university.
    Apparently the contact information was on another submittable page.

    I found the call for submissions on submittable, but it didnt have a contact in the description. So I went to the journals website and the email link was dead (or maybe it just didnt work for me). So after some clicking around, I clicked "submit" from THEIR page and it took me back to submittable and suddenly there was an email address. I had the 2 submittables opened up on different tabs (the initial listing and the one from their website) and I opened up the first one and sure enough, I wasnt crazy. There was no email address.

    Maybe it was an technical error on their end or something they werent aware of:superthink:
     
  6. The Piper

    The Piper Contributor Contributor

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    Fair enough, if it's something that's been operating for that long then they can be very traditional and I guess don't keep as up-to-date with stuff like that (or at least with making it accessible, apparently). As long as you're confident in their legitimacy and what they'll do with your work etc etc then no need to worry as long as you found it in the end!!

    Back to length, if it's for a journal then they'll be more interested in what you can do and the kind of story you can tell in a shorter count, so sending any extracts of great length is only going to prove to them that you might be able to tell a story really well, but that your limitations lie in telling a concise, snappy story. Again, I still don't know exactly what kind of thing you're hoping to submit but with all that in mind 2100 (about the average chapter length) sounds pretty good.

    EDIT: I should add that while I can kind of understand a long-running journal to be less concerned about how easy they are to contact, since they'll probably be focusing more on the submissions than where they come from, still be careful with things like this when it comes to publishers, agents etc. Also worth noting there are people on this forum with far more experience than me in any of those fields.
     
    J.T. Woody likes this.

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