Monday, March 19, 2012

Able Muse Attitude

There is nothing sweeter than to withdraw a work from submission because it has been chosen for publication elsewhere. It is one of the few business pleasures we writers derive from this muck. As I told the writer who submitted the below note from Able Muse, the rule on simultaneous submissions needs now become a thing of the past. Maybe that will make people read and respond a little bit quicker. Get with the times, people; no one is using that 20th Century rule any more.
From: "Able Muse Webmaster"
Date: March 19, 2012 12:31:08 AM PDT To:
Subject: RE: [Able Muse] Fiction Withdrawal - "Title" - Anony Mouse 
Dear Anonymouse,
As much as we congratulate for your acceptance, please note that our guidelines are clear that we do not welcome simultaneous submissions. If you’re also sending it somewhere else, please don’t submit it to us.
Best, …Alex


Anonymous said...

Dear ...Alex,

I eat your guidelines for breakfast.

...writers everywhere

tim said...

Dear Elliptical Alex,

As much as we would like to be rule-abiding, please note that a no sim-subs rule is out of step with other publications and puts undue hardship on writers trying to get their work published before they die. If you're going to accept unsolicited submissions, accept that they're being considered somewhere else as well.


Anonymous said...


Emails like this won't stop writers from sending out simultaneous submissions. They'll just discourage writers from letting you know when they've been accepted elsewhere. Good luck with that.

just a boob said...

sim subbing when a magazine forbids it is always a calculated risk. for an unknown author with no connections, the chances of two decent journals accepting her work are slim to none, so really, who's gonna know? but, on the remote chance you get caught, the gracious thing to do is apologize.

the no sim subs rule is pretty rare among Literary fiction magazines, but quite common in the sci-fi, fantasy, and speculative fiction markets. if you venture into genre land, you really have to be careful about not pissing off editors, who on the whole are more prone to getting pissed off than Literary editors.

Anonymous said...

In my humble opinion, any publication that requires you to submit exclusively to them (a demand for exclusivity, in essence) has a reciprocal obligation to respond to that submission promptly, within a week or two, or risk having their rule ignored. A quick look at Duotrope reveals that Able Muse currently has a mere eighteen pending submissions from Duotrope users, with a max wait time of 110 days. In the time it took Alex to write his or her little missive scolding the writer for violating Able Muse’s no simultaneous submissions rule, Alex surely could have read and disposed of at least one of those long-standing submissions, some of which are probably from writers who observed the rule. So here’s my missive to you, Alex: Demanding exclusivity and then tying up a submission for 110 days is wrong. Get on top of your slush pile before you scold another writer for simultaneously submitting.