23 June 2015

slush pile tips

Here at Electric Spec we do something a little different. We never close to submissions. For a particular issue we just look at submissions from within a certain time frame. Thus, our next issue is out August 31, 2015, so we'll be accepting submissions for that issue through July 15, 2015. A quirk of this process is we don't look at the new slush pile for about six weeks while we work on the upcoming issue.
Bottom line: we have a backlog of slush right now and we know it. We're addressing it.
I've been doing my part to wade through the slush pile and consequently I have some tips...
  • Do submit your story in *rtf format as requested.
  • Do remember to attach the file.
  • Don't use any weird formatting such as unusual colors, symbols, strike-outs, etc.
  • Regarding your cover letter:
    • Don't tell us you have no sales.
    • If you did sell to Electric Spec, mention it!
    • Don't ask for critique.
    • Don't send a follow-up email asking if we got your story. We get hundreds of stories and having to answer queries about your query just bogs down the process.
  • In your story, do show us stuff--rather than just telling.
  • If your story is super-long it's going to be less desirable (we have to edit it!)
  • Do write a story with speculative elements.
  • Your story shouldn't be about "business as usual." Something unusual should happen.
I'll have more tips in the coming weeks.
Thank you for submitting!

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