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T.
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 05:07 pm:   

I am 17 years old, and I'm just starting my writing career.
Recently, I submitted a short story to three different publishers. It was my first time submitting a story. Because of my lack of experience with submissions, I didn't know what the publishers meant when they say that they don't accept "simultaneous submissions". The Writer's Guidelines on their websites didn't define what they meant. I thought that a "simultaneous submission" is when an author submit more than one story on a single submission. However, after reading the Writer's Guidelines on the website of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, I realized that it meant to submit the same story to more than one publisher at once. I also realized that I have done a simultaneous submission.
What should I do now? Should I immediately send letters to the editors, telling them about the simultaneous submission? Or should I tell them about it after my story gets accepted (although I think there is a high possiblity of my story getting rejected)? And, if my story is rejected because it was a simultaneous submission, can I still submit revisions of it to the same publishers?
Please give me an advice. Thank you!
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M.K. Hobson
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 11:22 pm:   

Hello, T.

Welcome to the wonderful world of submitting! First of all, don't panic. This is a small mistake, easily rectified.

As you've probably already discovered for yourself, "simultaneous submission" means a submission to more than one magazine, whereas "multiple submission" is the submission of more than one story to a market.

So, what to do now? I'd decide which of the three markets is the one you most want to be accepted by. Then, I would send a very short, very professional note to the *other* two publications referencing the title of your submission and the date you submitted. Apologize for your misunderstanding of the guidelines, and respectfully withdraw your story from active consideration. You don't have to send anything to the preferred publication; for all they know, it's just a regular submission.

Doing this does NOT preclude you from resubmitting the story to the markets from which you've withdrawn it at a later date, and you can do so once you've received a response from the first market. As long as you're polite and professional, no one will hold it against you.

I would *definitely* not recommend waiting to hear back. If it did so happen that two editors wanted the same story, you'll certainly end up annoying one of them -- not something you want to do when you're starting out.

Good luck with your submissions!

M.K. Hobson
www.demimonde.com
bricoleur.livejournal.com
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T.
Posted on Monday, April 16, 2007 - 04:20 pm:   

That helped a lot. Thank you very much!

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