Sunday, 7 February 2010

following up on guidelines

I always look forward to receiving my copy of Victorian Writer (The Victorian Writers' Centre's member magazine) and usually rush home to make a cuppa to sip while I read. This month, I looked forward to it just a little more than usual, because I have an article in there that deals with something that really irritates me (during the page seventeen submission period at least).

Yes, submission guidelines and whether or not writers follow them.

Last year I had a little rant about it after I received one too many that didn't conform and then asked you what you thought. The general consensus seemed to be that everyone agreed that all writers should follow them or expect not to have their work considered.

That got me thinking. If everyone agrees, why are so many non-conforming submissions received or, are we the only magazine receiving enough to drive us to rant in public? So, I asked around, collated responses and wrote about it for the members of the Victorian Writers' Centre.

But it isn't something that only members of the Victorian Writers' Centre should have the opportunity to read about. After all, I approached editors and competition administrators from other states too. So, next week, I'll be posting the article here too, so you can all work out for yourselves whether sending work that doesn't meet a publication's guidelines will even be read, let alone shine through as the piece they just have to have (and therefore overlook your inability to do what they asked).

5 comments:

Hackpacker said...

Nice piece, Tiggy. It looked like a lot of research and like there's more to write about in that research.
I'm not sure what happens with guidelines, but perhaps people send out too many things and don't read specifics.
There's also a counter-argument about standing out from the slush pile and stories of writers doing this by nailing their ms between floorboards, etc. Unless the writing backs it up then it can just come across as gimmickery. Perfuming your work and using coloured paper do little to impress editors/judges.

markwilliamjackson said...

I like to submit on recycled napkins, handwritten in single spaced 6 point font, I'm just looking for the right magazine to suit my guidelines!

Tiggy Johnson said...

Thanks G. You are probably right about there being more, and I'll switch my brain back on soon to have another think.

Mark: Ha ha. I dare you ;)

markwilliamjackson said...

No I couldn't, I've been waiting too long for April 1 to roll around to spoil my chances with a guideline breach! I'll stick to the rules, 12 point times new roman, $50 paper clipped to top right corner...

Tiggy Johnson said...

Now that is something I should consider adding to the guidelines :)