How to Annoy a Short Fiction Editor in One Easy Lesson

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Photo by Dan Counsell on Unsplash

You have your amazing short fiction piece written. It’s absolutely guaranteed to sell and maybe even win an award!

So, now you need to know how to make all those editors mad with you. Because, after all, keeping them happy is easy! Here are some tips to ensure that you will get the cold shoulder at the next convention.

Submission Guidelines are Optional

You know that page of guidelines? Editors write that for the fun of it. You absolutely don’t have to submit in the requested format; after all, you’re a creative genius who knows the best fonts to use.

And so what if your story isn’t quite the right genre? They’ll love it when they see it. Bonus points if you just sent a zombie story to an editor who said absolutely no zombie stories of any kind.

Send it to Everyone — At Once!

Sure, half of them say “no simultaneous submissions,” but you don’t have time to wait months while they make decisions in sequence. So, just send your story to everyone on your list at the same time.

It’s not like they’ll ever know. Editors never, ever talk to each other. And you can just withdraw it when it’s accepted, right?

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Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash

Send Them All your Stories

Ooh! A new market opened. And you have six stories, the genius of which has yet to be discovered!

Let’s send them all six. They can pick which one they want to publish. After all, they’re new and can’t possibly have much in the slush pile yet.

Tell Them All About You

Sure, they say to keep cover letters brief, but how can they properly judge your story if they don’t know where you went to school, your favorite restaurant, and the names of all three of your cats.

Ooh, even better. Send them a picture of your cats. Writers and editors love cats. They adore cat pictures. They’ll buy your story without even reading it.

Argh, you Got Rejected? Time to Argue your Point

Absolutely argue with that rejection. You’re brilliant. They’re missing out.

Bonus points if you threaten their three cats. Or them. Or their mother.

Or, of course, you could just make the story better and send it to them again…

Okay, all humor aside. If you’re going to write short fiction, then please, please follow the rules. It is possible to get blacklisted if you push it too far…

…and editors talk to each other.

All. The. Time.

Written by

Freelance writer, freelance editor, novelist and short story writer. Jack of many trades.

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