Sunday, December 7, 2008

New submission guidelines

Submissions can be either joint locks or chokes. They are also invite-only. How to get invited:

-- Be previously published in Thieves Jargon
-- Read the archives, send nice letters to your favorite authors, have them recommend you
-- Get published somewhere else, and we'll come find you


submissions at thievesjargon dot com

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

That might be the stupidest thing I've ever heard. What's it supposed to accomplish?

dog said...

Do you think it'll vastly reduce submissions or increase amount of author correspondence? The latter would be cool. Probably a lot of the first and very little of the second?

Matt DiGangi said...

Rationale looks like this:

-- It should encourage more people to read what we've published. I want to say FU to people who check out the submissions page without reading any of the published work.

-- Having myself and the rest of the TJ editors engaging more in what other journals are doing can only be a good thing. I've read more stories this weekend than Jimmy Chen will publish in the next decade, and chose one of them. Our time might be better served elsewhere.

-- I don't know what other online journals are invite-only, and TJ has been a trend-setter before: first journal to have a message board, one of the first to publish weekly, one of the very few to publish daily, one of the first to have rotating artwork.

-- The biggest problem with the new policy? That one submission I accepted this weekend? Here's their reply: "I began writing a year ago, and this will be my first published piece. I'm still not certain where this writing jazz is gonna take me, but I'll never forget this one. And although that sounds a bit fancy or 'unprofessional,' it's simply the truth."

So that stings some, but we've put in our time, and this should open the door for some other journals to do some awesome things.

Will this keep me from quitting Thieves Jargon this summer? TBD.

Will this mean we publish less work? Possibly. I could see us dropping down to three pieces a week, maybe four, but let's wait and see.

P. H. M. said...

If it keeps you going, word. I actually think this will greatly increase readership, since it seems to work for other magazines that aren't quite as obvious about their 'policy.' SmokeLong loves to only publish people it has already published before, but they're not upfront about it. Ha, not to rekindle that whole thing...

BTW, I had a piece accepted by another magazine, one I've never published in, and so did one of my lesser-known pseudonyms, on the same day. Thought you'd like to know.

P. H. M. said...

also my nonpress is invite only.

"an honest in-crowd."

Anonymous said...

The more I think about the new submission guidelines, the more I like them. Hopefully it will open up a dialogue between fresh and veteran Jargoneers and boost the quality of writing- if sacrificing a bit of the quantity. But that's fine with me... by the end of the week I always found the amount of published material a bit overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

What of the writer that you unpublished? Will he have to ask for a reoommendation?

Matt DiGangi said...

Why would he want to be published here?

P. H. M. said...

He needs more like a pardon, doesn't he?

I was unpublished by Zygote, got the message, and haven't ever subbed there since...

xtx said...

To be clear, if you've been previously published in TJ, you can just submit directly, yes?

p.s. Do you read Cherry Bleeds?

Timothy Gager said...

Write me a letter, to get in, if you're hot.

Anonymous said...

I think that you would most like my submission, for no other reason than to laugh your ass off. I will submit, but in a way that does not meet your conventions. But maybe it will on accident. Just know that you will enjoy the shit out of it. I don't even care that you publish it. I'd rather you not, actually. But you should really know the pig shit that you wallow with.

Brad Green said...

The story of mine that you took was one of the first ones I'd published. It still brings a warmth to my belly. Well, that may be the Rum, but still.

I'm interested to see what happens with your new guidelines. Since I'm still a newish writer, or at least new to the scene, the policy has a bit of an elitist feel to me, but that may not be a bad thing. Anytime we can elevate literature, we should. The only time it would become a real problem is if every other journal adopted the same policy, then no new writer could ever break in.

Without new writers, staleness sets in.

Matt DiGangi said...

Tell me what's elitist about asking writers to read the work of, and engage in discussion with, their contemporaries.

It'll be up to the TJ editors to make sure we're not running the same two dozen people over and over again, but I think we're up to the task.

Brad Green said...

You're right, there's nothing elitist about that. Engaging in discussion about things and with each other is fantastic.

My comments are possibly colored by my inexperience. I didn't intend the word elitist to necessarily be a negative thing. Hope you didn't read it as such.

However, being a new writer, I could see how the policy might be viewed as frustrating to another new writer. They wouldn't be allowed to submit unless they were already "established" enough to get solicited. Again - this isn't a negative thing I'm pointing out as it does drive collaboration in the larger field.

In the end it doesn't matter to me personally because I've been published by TJ and can submit.

Spencer Troxell said...

I think this is a good idea.

A very midwestern concept, but here it goes: When you have to work hard for something, you value it more.

You'll get better work because people will try harder to get in.

Good luck.

Matt DiGangi said...

Hey Spencer, thanks for checking in. Been a while since we've seen some new work of yours. You should send some along.

Anonymous said...

-- The biggest problem with the new policy? That one submission I accepted this weekend? Here's "their reply: "I began writing a year ago, and this will be my first published piece. I'm still not certain where this writing jazz is gonna take me, but I'll never forget this one. And although that sounds a bit fancy or 'unprofessional,' it's simply the truth."

So that stings some,"

why does that sting, i dont get it? because they dont take you as seriously as you take yourself?

Matt DiGangi said...

Happy, proud, serious, whatever; they were psyched for their first publication. It was sad because we won't be getting those kind of emails any more.

Sniff.