Magazine Guidelines for Submitting Stories

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Usually, a magazine will have specific guidelines for submitting your story. They may have a word or page limit or minimum that you should adhere to. Importantly, many publications frown on simultaneously submitted work. For example, if you submit a piece to The Paris Review, the editor will expect that the stoiy is not being submitted to any other publication at the same time. On the other hand, if a magazine does not have a policy against simultaneous submissions, you can submit the same story to several publications at once. If the policy on simultaneous submissions is not specified, you can contact the editor. Most often, magazines that accept simultaneous submissions will want you to identify your story as such.

Here is a sample submission policy from the Alaska Quarterly Review.

Alaska Quarterly Review is a literary journal devoted to contemporary literary art, publishing fiction, short plays, poetry, and literary nonfiction in traditional and experimental styles. The editors encourage new and emerging writers, while continuing to publish award winning and established writers.

Please include your contact information in your cover letter and/or on your manuscript: mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address if available. All manuscripts must be typed and accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE). Unless a SASE is enclosed with your submission, you will not hear from us unless we are interested in publishing your manuscript. We try to reply within 4 to 12 weeks. Important notes:

1. Unsolicited manuscripts are read between August 15 and May 15.

2. Although we respond to e-mail queries, we cannot review electronic submissions.

3. We review simultaneous submissions and request that they be identified as such in the cover letter.

Send all correspondence, business and editorial, to the following: Editors

Alaska Quarterly Review University of Alaska Anchorage 3211 Providence Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99508

Note that Alaska Quarterly requests the submission be directed to Editors, rather than a specific editor. Other magazines might want you to address your submission to the Fiction or Creative Nonaction Editor. I advise you to find that editor's name in the magazine's masthead. The masthead identifies all the important information about the magazine, including editors' names.

If a magazine asks for a cover letter, keep it direct and succinct. You don't need lengthy biographical information or an involved synopsis of your story. If the editor wants additional information, that information will be specified in the magazine's guidelines. A simple business letter format is appropriate. Here is an example:

Sarah Leeds 1725 Red Line Drive Rockville, Utah ***** 435-678-9012

October 1, 2004


Alaska Quarterly Review University of Alaska Anchorage 3211 Providence Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99508

Dear Editors:

Enclosed please find a copy of my short story, "Sandpiper," for consideration in Alaska Quarterly Review. I am simultaneously submitting this story to other publications.

My fiction has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Granta, and the Colorado Review.

Thank you for your time.


Sarah Leeds

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