Periodically I like to send questions to my fellow submitting Submittable Warriors, also known as “writers.” Their answers show that we all share a similar range of experiences using this technological convenience. Here’s a sampling of the Q & A’s.
What is it like waiting for RECEIVED submissions to flip over to IN PROGRESS submissions, and IN PROGRESS submissions to progress to a decision?
- “It’s like watching water wait to wait to be boiled.”
- “Like political ads. Excruciating and maddening.”
- “Have you ever played fetch with a tortoise? You know. You fling the lettuce, then yell in its face: ‘Go on, boy! Go on!’ Like that.”
- “Like looking forward to Christmas on December 26th.”
- “Auditing a course on studying wallpaper.”
- “The word ‘Received’ is my mantra for morning meditations, ‘In Progress’ for nightly ones. Has been for 8 months. Maybe your question’s a koan.”
- “Like watching The Food Network. Eternal similarity. Stubborn persistence. Few payoffs.”
When is it worth paying a reading fee?
- “When you’re accepted and it’s a paying market. Other than that, never.”
- “When the journal is worthy of financial support. That way, you can look at it as a non-deductible contribution to a good cause.”
- “When no one will read you for free.”
- “I do it to reward audaciousness.”
- “I haven’t done so because every time I email an editor about my writing fee, I get virtual crickets. Have you ever heard a virtual cricket?”
- “When you want to brag about a certain magazine soliciting your stuff. Just don’t mention that your ‘stuff’ is a credit card as opposed to your poems.”
How many simultaneous submissions do you typically make for any given work?
- “Three. Maybe I’ve been hard-wired by bad jokes, but everything comes in threes and that includes my submissions ceiling.”
- “I don’t believe in simul-subs. This gives me plenty of time to revise my work between submissions, meaning no two submissions of the same work are ever alike.”
- “You mean you count them?”
- “I take it as a challenge. I once had a poem out at 53 markets over the course of two years, all eventually demurring. Would you say it needed work?”
Is Submittable is more worthwhile for writers or for markets?
- “Well, let’s see. I’m a marketing dunce, so it’s a godsend. Writers.”
- “Definitely markets. Journals pay for the service, but if they charge a reading fee, they more than offset their costs. They profit handily. In some cases footily.”
- “More and more markets use it, so I guess there’s good financial reasons to do so. Markets.”
- “Submittable itself is a market. Markets benefit markets. It’s in the same aisle as corporations being people according to SCOTUS. Different but the same. Ka-ching!”
- “Writers. How else would I know what I sent where three years ago? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.”