I was surprised by some of what I found out last year when I surveyed various journal editors and competition administrators (for this article). Including how lenient some editors actually are (though I'm not going to tell you which ones).
But the thing that surprised me the most was how many competition administrators or editors actually read a submission/entry that does not meet the guidelines before deciding whether to disqualify it. Except in the case where a piece might exceed the word limit, surely this decision should be made on the guidelines themselves rather than on the quality of the work?
I completely understand those who didn't feel they receive enough submissions to shortlist according to who followed the rules. But this is a blanket decision, everyone is treated the same. Not so for editors who admit to bending the rules 'if a piece is brilliant', and while it was certainly not the case for the majority of those I surveyed, there were enough similar responses to shock.
So I put it to you, as I seem to every year when page seventeen's submissions are open, what do you think? Do you expect editors/administrators to follow their own guidelines?
And, have you or anyone you know ever had a piece accepted when you know you failed to meet guidelines?