FOLLOW THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES!!!
I say this because I’m working my way through the submissions for “Tales of the Once and Future King”. My sister, the assistant editor, had been through some submissions without me and put a couple in the rejected folder. Before I send out e-mails I always give the stories I haven’t read a quick once over even if my sister has already given her opinion on it. To clarify, every story is given detailed personal consideration by one of the two of us and at least skimmed by both, so you aren’t being stiffed.
It was very clear why she had rejected one story: ZERO effort had been made to follow submission guidelines. There was no title in the document, no name, no address, it was not double spaced, not indented, and the font was not an accepted one. So my sister rejected it, as well she should have. For one thing, it makes it harder on us to read. For another, it’s lazy: Why should we give you a cut of our money if you won’t even put in the little bit of effort needed to format the work correctly? It’s insulting.
But I duly gave it a onceover, and am happy I did, as it was an excellent story. So I’m going to accept it – but if I hadn’t read it at all, I would have had every right. The author broke the rules, after all.
So, if you submit a story: Follow the guidelines! If you don’t, you might lose a payday, and an editor might miss a great story. It’s bad for everyone.