Simultaneous Submissions

I’ve written a little about my adventures so far in flash fiction.  I’ve been doing this for less than a year, meaning I’m still getting my toes wet, but over the last several months I learned a lot.

The sad truth is writing flash fiction and short stories for literary journals typically won’t result in payment.  Those who cannot pay offer exposure, sometimes feedback, and as always acceptance means publication credit for a portfolio.

Within a publication’s submission guidelines, they address (or at least should) whether authors are allowed multiple submissions and simultaneous submissions.  Many places do not allow either and it’s understandable to a point.  If you’re getting thousands of submissions per month, getting three per author increases the list stories to read exponentially.  Also, if a journal takes simultaneous submissions and an author withdraws a story right before they are about to accept it themselves, they have to spend more time looking elsewhere.

My issue comes from publications that don’t pay and don’t allow for simultaneous submissions.  Sure, the argument can be made that writers are courting the editors, not the other way around.  Okay fine.  However, the authors are donating their stories to publishers who statistically speaking, will reject the stories anyway.  If publishers aren’t going to pay then I feel they should allow simultaneous submissions, even if that means the editors might be inconvenienced once in awhile.

Simultaneous submissions are one strategy that can lead to success for an author.  Many rejections come just because the story isn’t quite the right fit or tone for a publication.  Therefore I no longer consider submitting to these places, after all there are hundreds of literary journals.


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