More Detailed Submission Guidelines, 'cuz ya'll's stupid
It is December 6th, 2001, and I am damn sick and tired of people who can't comprenhend my requirements, their rights, and all the other shit they're supposed to learn from a submissions page. I had a perfectly good page of submission guidelines, and ya'll's just not following it. So here it is: submission guidelines. It's numbered, in the hopes that ya'll find this a little easier.
My name is Jonathan Penton. I am the only editor. So stop addressing your submissions to: "Editors," "Poetry editor," or any of that stupid shit. My e-mail address is email@example.com. Use that same address for submissions, complaints, comments, or technical questions.
- Unlikely Stories is FREE. Therefore, you can read it before you submit, and have no excuse for failing to do so.
- I accept poetry, fiction, and narrative non-fiction. I am also seeking regular columnists (see below).
- I assume that you are the sole author of any work that you send to me, and that you are the sole owner of the copyright, unless you specify otherwise.
- By offering a submission to Unlikely Stories, you agree to give me the right to keep your work posted at Unlikely Stories for as long as I see fit. You retain all other rights.
- Unlikely Stories places a huge amount of emphasis on the artist behind the literature. Thus, in order to be considered for publication here, you must send at least three pieces that interest me.
- Previously published and simultaneous submissions are always accepted, and always will be.
- I use Word 200 on a PC. So if you want to send an attachment, send something I can read. Alternatively, you can send your submission in the body of an e-mail. Whatever is convenient for you is fine.
- Please let me know before sending me more than 30,000 words, total.
- Although I certainly recognize the artistic merit of fan fiction, it probably won't be accepted. I might accept a piece set in the world of Star Trek, The Hobbit, or some other series that is universally known.
- If you would prefer to send submissions by conventional mail, e-mail me and ask for my conventional address.
- I sometimes critique upon request.
- For the love of God, spell-check your work. With a spell-checker, not your seeing-eye dog.
- And, while you're at it, check the grammar, too. I recognize that formal grammar is not always the most interesting writing, but it would be nice if I didn't have to change the word "their" to "there" every five sentences.
- I'm really not that anal. Honest to Betsy.
- OK, so maybe I am. Sue me. Asshole.
Additional Poetry Guidelines
- Word 2000 users: Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, has re-tooled Outlook Express 5 and Word 2000 so that poems copied from Word become double-spaced in Outlook Express, in an attempt to convert them to HTML. This is annoying, OK? You can get around it by, in Outlook Express, clicking Format -> Plain Text when creating a new message.
- Did you understand that? If not, write to me asking for technical help. Don't be sending double-spaced poetry. I can't read it that way. It bugs me.
Additional Fiction and Non-Fiction Guidelines
- I publish fiction and narrative non-fiction. I am not looking for single articles or essays.
- By narrative non-fiction, I mean biographies, autobiographies, histories, memiors; shit like that. It has to tell a story; it has to entertain in some way.
Additional Column Guidelines
- If you would like to run a monthly column at Unlikely Stories, give me at least two sample columns to look at. I'm not interested in your ideas for columns. If I like your writing but not your idea, I'll let you know.
A Final Note
I like the weird. I like the adult, bizarre, and grotesque. Mostly, I like the original. If you are grotesque, but not original, there are lots of other sites who will consider you. Naturally, I also like the well-polished; the erudite, the witty, the eloquent. OK, to recap that horribly rambling paragraph, I like the original most of all, the weird second, and the polished third. Try to shoot for at least one of those goals.