Submission Guideline Hell

Submitting a story to multiple publications can make your head spin. Each has its own VERY SPECIFIC guidelines regarding formatting, word count, when you can and can’t submit, etc. etc. Submitters are urged to read the overview and philosophy of each publication to get an idea of what they are looking for. After doing this for at least 50 publications over the last few years, I have come to the conclusion that the degree of a publication’s self-importance is inversely proportional to the age of its editors.

I was inspired to write the following satirical piece after going through the submission process for my latest story.

Submission Guidelines
We at Snootenanny welcome submissions from people of all ages, ethnicities, creeds, colors, gender preferences, and regions (except Hoboken. We hate people from Hoboken). We accept all literary forms: short fiction, long fiction, poetry, tweets, texts, proclamations, orations, declarations, declamations, indentations, perforations, you name it.

We are looking for stories and poems that surprise, amaze, sing, gyrate, tap dance, and smack you upside the head. We want work that grabs us by the neck, shakes us senseless, and leaves us sprawled on the floor in astonishment and excruciating pain.

1. Submissions are only accepted from January 1 to January 31. Manuscripts submitted outside of those dates will be trashed. We are way too busy and important to bother with people who are too stupid to follow simple instructions.

2. You must number every page except the first in Roman numerals. The first page must use Arabic numerals and include at least one emoji. Any manuscript deviating from this guideline will be set on fire.

3. You must use Times New Roman 12 point for all pages except the last, which must be Comic Sans 18. Any manuscript not adhering to this guideline will be cursed and spat upon personally by the editor-in-chief.

4. Do not include any personal information in the text. If we see even the tiniest hint of who you are, your manuscript will be composted.

5. Double-space all text. The top half of the first page must be blank. The title must be in 18-point Copperplate Gothic Bold followed by 7 hard carriage returns and one soft one. The authors of manuscripts not adhering to this standard will be drawn and quartered.