Amanda Brittany has started to compile a list of womag writers on her blog. Boy does she have her work cut out! There must be thousands of us out there, all scribbling away hoping to please an editor. Which got me to thinking about when I first started out submitting back in 2001.
A sub to People's Friend would take approx a week to 10 days for a yay or nay answer. A sub to Woman's Weekly or My Weekly maybe three to four weeks. Take A Break usually got back to me within 4 to 5 weeks, 6 at the most. How times have changed!
The People's Friend still remains the quickest, with all the other mags taking up to 6 months and in some cases over a year for a decision. That's if they bother to answer at all. Increasingly, some are adopting the 'if you don't hear from us assume it's a rejection' attitude, which I find irksome (a bloody liberty). Yes, I know you're busy but how difficult would it be to hit the reply button on an email? If any editors who've adopted this stance are reading this then...um...ignore my comments - I don't want to be black-listed! Which, I suppose is exactly why they get away with it.
My pet hate is editors who don't EVER get in touch. Not even to say 'Stop sending me your pathetic drivel'. A certain overseas mag editor hasn't replied to me in years, though she accepted the first thing I ever sent her so she must like my writing. Maybe I should take it as a sign she's not interested but until she actually says so I'll keep sending. No, I wont get tired and disheartened, Missy. I'm made of sterner stuff! You don't get rid of me that easily.
Maybe she needs to take a leaf out of Fast Fiction Oz who have an automated reply system to acknowledge receipt of a submission which I think is a brilliant idea - but even that's hit and miss, especially following their (frequent) editor changes.
The nice people at My Weekly generally send a brief 'Got it, Sue' email as does Woman's Weekly. They may then take months and months to give a definitive answer, but at least I'm not left wondering if it ever arrived in their in-box.
But then never having been an editor I can't imagine what it must be like to open my in-box on a Monday morning to find it crammed to busting point with submissions. And not all of publishable quality at that!