The Art of Submission: How Do You Query Without Being Pushy (No, Really. How Do You?)

Here’s something I’ve been struggling with: there has been a significant lull in responses to my submissions.

It must be the time of year, right? Journals and magazines are slammed with the mid-submission-season accumulation, the stories piling up in their Submittable accounts as May approaches. It’s only natural that the stuff I sent out on September 1st got responses within weeks, while the stuff that I sent out in, say, December, is accumulating digital dust in some editor’s inbox.

But here is where I am struggling: I don’t want to write to these journals to let them know it’s been five months, seven months, hell in one case THIRTEEN MONTHS since I submitted my work for their consideration.

I don’t entirely know why. I know it has something to do with my time as an editor and how I was always annoyed by the people who did. We’re working on it! I wanted to say in response. We have lives you know!

Not that I ever did. Instead, I always went immediately to my Submittable page, found their submission, read the first few pages, and generally sent them a rejection letter.

So. Yeah. I don’t want my stuff to wallow in Submittable forever, but I also don’t want a less than earnest consideration of my work either.

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