Dating Around: On Simultaneous Submissions

In response to my last post on the advantages of submitting to literary contests, one reader asked:

Is sim-subbing to multiple contests a no-no?

The short answer:

No! (= Not a no-no = Sim-subbing a go-go)

Indiana Review‘s policy for simultaneous submissions, whether to be considered for a prize or regular publication, is:

We’ll take ’em.

IF, however, your piece is accepted by another journal or contest, we ask that you inform us immediately. We will shed a single tear, then send you our congratulations and remove your piece from consideration.

We publish only previously unpublished work, and we award prizes to previously un-awarded work.

Occasionally, our editors and readers fall in love with a poem or story or essay. We start imagining our future together, envisioning those words at home between the covers of the next Indiana Review. We propose publication—sure that this writer will say yes!–only to find out that the work has been promised to another.

As if the editors of literary journals don’t suffer enough.

Feel free to send out your work to multiple journals, but please tell us as soon as your work is accepted elsewhere. Quit playing games with our hearts. Tell us straight—we can take it.

What this means for simultaneously submitting to contests:

If you submit to and then withdraw from a contest after your work has been under consideration, Indiana Review cannot refund your reading fee.

If you break up with us, we can’t refund you for the cost of our first date.

Therefore, before you submit the same work to multiple contests, which usually involve reading fees, you must weigh your costs and benefits and decide for yourself if it’s worth it.

Take a look at my previous post discussing the advantages—and risks—of submitting to contests (and this smart post over at The Review Review), and consider submitting to Indiana Review‘s 2012 Fiction Prize, judged by Dana Johnson.

We understand you want to keep your options open. We don’t have to be exclusive from the start. If you give us a chance though, we promise we’ll treat you right.

One Response to “Dating Around: On Simultaneous Submissions”

  1. Becky T.

    Great guidelines! Great contest!

    And thanks for the mention.