Every so often I’ll get a timeless writing question: What about simultaneous queries?
Old school rules dictated that unless the magazine indicated, you never submitted the same query to anyone else until you received a rejection from the first publication. This is a oft grumbled rule with writers because it could take months to receive a rejection for a piece and then after waiting those months you have to start the process all over again.
Editors cite concerns over their processes and the time it takes to approve an article, place it, pay for it, publish it only to see the same article in a competitor’s magazine.
Over time, the lag time between article submission and approval or rejection has been cut dramatically with the use of email submissions. Now a writer can receive a yay or nay almost as soon as they send it out, which can be a bit disconcerting when it’s a nay, for some reason fast rejection stings a little bit more.
Alternatively, editors have begun to understand and receive more pushback from writers who don’t want to wait on a long approval process. So they have begun to accept simultaneous submissions as long as the piece hasn’t been submitted to a competing publication. So what should you do?
I personally like to wait on acceptance or rejection when the publication explicitly requests no simultaneous submissions. However, I’ve talked with writers who incorporate their simultaneous submission request in their query letter. There are others still who just take a chance and submit regardless of publication preference or notification.
I don’t recommend the last course of action because should you happen to get accepted at competing publications you’ll have some awkward explaining to do.
Got an opinion or tip on simultaneous submissions? Tell us below!