thegirlintheglasses wrote:If I want to be a professional, I have to act professionally. I missed a deadline. I don't want my first impression to my favorite magazine to be...well, unprofessional. Surely this particular magazine already has many excellent stories to choose from. Would it not come across as unprofessional, as well as a bit prideful, if I emailed, asking for an exception because "my story really fits and is awesome, I promise"... With Wulf's earlier tips in mind, I don't think it would reflect well on me. So I'm swallowing this one and vowing to do better next time. Learning experience. Sharing with the rest of you, so you're not in the same boat. I'll submit elsewhere and wait for their next opening. A little sad. A bit more learned. A lot more determined.
Brittany is correct. This would come across as highly unprofessional to ask for an extension. Editors set deadlines for a reason--they already have too many stories to select from, so cutting off submissions on a certain date helps them to focus on what they have. Blatantly ignoring guidelines is a sure way to get an immediate rejection, and editors have long memories. You want them to remember your name for good things, like submitting on time, properly formatting your manuscript, and having a rep for sending them wonderful stories.
The only caveat I have on this is if you have a working relationship with an editor, in other words, they've bought your stories, they've had no problems with you in the past, and you are friends. In all friendships, you can ask a friend for a favor, and if you haven't asked before, they might be willing to grant you one. It is imposing, but if your request is reasonable--such as asking if I get this story in your mailbox by first thing in the morning instead of midnight--they may see that as a non-issue, especially if it gives you time to give the story you were submitting another pass. We are not talking about WotF here. We are talking about editors that have bought your stories, are friendly with you, and have a vested interest in you sending them another good one. As in all friendships, be careful not to take advantage, or you will soon not have a friendship. : )
Here's the good news, Brittany. I know the magazine you speak of, and they will open again. It's frustrating to miss a submission window, just as it is frustrating to miss a quarter in WotF--you never know what might have happened had you gotten in. But the good news is there will be another opportunity, this is not a one-time anthology call. Those ones REALLY hurt to miss, because some of those themed ones will never happen again, and you might have had the perfect story for it. Finally, there are always other markets to try in the meantime. The thing to be careful of here is that you don't get your story tied up being held by a less desirable publication when your target market opens back up, and that can happen. There are some simultaneous submission markets, allowing you to submit elsewhere while waiting to hear from them. I've never liked the idea and am very surprised when publishers offer this--they go to a lot of work reading and making final selections, only to get a letter from you saying you sold it elsewhere. They asked for it, I guess. It still would bother me greatly to send that letter...
I am terrible at organization as well. Many creative types are. So I print out target markets and write their closing dates prominently across the top of the page with a black Sharpie. And I have a standing manuscript holder on my desk where I arrange them by date, so the deadline is always staring at me on the one closest to closing. Good reminder, good motivator.
Some of you use computer calendar and alarm systems. Some just write on their calendars in BIG LETTERS. To our fellow challenge beasties, please tell us how you organize so you don't miss important submission windows.
All the beast,