I Learned How Lazy Writer’s Really Are

I hate saying it, but I found out it just may be true. It all started when I decided to take submissions for “The Wall“, which by the way I’m always accepting pieces for it, and got submissions from people whom must have only read the title “AKAQ Looking for Halloween Submissions”. Then they scrolled down to my email address and tossed a bunch of stuff my way.

Word count

There’s a reason I included a word count, and even then, I always like to think there’s room to go over. Hell, I never get mad if someone is 5 minutes late, why should I care if someone was 100 words over? But come on. I asked for less than 1000 and got pieces all over the board. Even though the word “flash” fiction or short story is always changing, I defined my version for them – 1000 words or less. I wanted to read them, I surely did but I wouldn’t have accepted them anyways, so why waste my time.

Lesson one: Word count may keep your story from being read.

Multiple Submissions

I like to think I choose requirements for a reason. It’s not like I pulled them out of my head for fun. So I wrote “No Multiple Submissions”. Which I guess to some people meant giving me 4-5 stories and if I didn’t like those to cruise their website to find one. First off, this isn’t a numbers game, at least not with one reader. I’m not going to say, “Well that one sucked, let’s read the next one.” I’m pretty much done after the first one yet I didn’t want to miss out on a good story. So I read the second one. Boy was I disappointed. My journey stopped there and I just deleted the email and wiped my hands clean of it. Now, I feel like he left a bad impression for others who did so as well, so without even reading any others who sent multiple pieces, off they went to my trashcan.

Lesson two: There’s a reason for guidelines, to give you a fair shot. Send your best one.

Developing A Relationship

The whole post took only seconds to read. I didn’t think it would have made me delete over half of the submission. The others I didn’t think were up to par, but I’m glad they submitted and I responded to most of them. Yet I still only managed to pull one story out of that pile. I was amazed. So to keep from having a ridiculous turnout I called out for help from fellow authors. Here is where I was greeted with love. Not only did they easily follow my guidelines, they turned in something within a day of me asking and they were amazing pieces. I now see why some anthologies are only for invited writers. Because the relationship is important.

Lesson three: Develop a relationship by being professional.

The End?

Read. For the love of god, just read the guidelines. Keep the window/tab open as you type up the email. It’s not that hard. If you seem lazy enough not to read my guidelines, I’m going to think your writing is just as lazy.

-L. Vera




  1. Reblogged this on So Much To Write, So Little Time.

  2. I keep hearing this complaint over and over again from lots of different folks. It’s simple really – read directions, instructions and follow them.

    • Right? I’ve always put tons of effort following the guidelines, i figured everyone else did too – nope.

  3. One reason for your trouble is that more and more people are calling themselves “writers” but they really aren’t. Instant self-publishing has created hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of dilettante scribblers who don’t observe–and maybe disdain–any rules that might frustrate their gratification. Many of them chose to publish their “books” on Kindle or Nook for the simple reason that they wouldn’t have to be edited or suffer any of the other grueling processes that professional writers endure. An amateur doesn’t care what the editor wants. A professional knows how guidelines work and generally observes them.

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