Department header
Bewildering Stories

Somebody looks at...

The Fine Print

Will wonders never cease... We happily forward “fan mail” intended for various authors, and we learn a lot from the discussions in our forum... But this is the first time in five years that somebody — not a contributor; in fact, we have no idea who it is — has actually commented on the Submissions page, can you believe!

However, I’m afraid it doesn’t get a medal: I doubt the person in question has actually read that page; if he had, he might have realized that Bewildering Stories likes to be up front and put all cards on the table.

Be that as it may, we dutifully rejoice that somebody has actually noticed the guidelines, but it would have been nice to receive an opinion supported by more than “I’ve never seen this done before.”

In all due respect you have way too much info for submission. Again, in due respect, I have never seen a magazine have so much “advise” for submission. Finally you have adware. Tsk, tsk.

[Jerry Wright] One might think that our submission policy is a bit overwhelming. We could say: “Send us the best story you can write, keep it clean, and pay attention to common English grammar and syntax.”

Unfortunately, over the years, we have received SO MUCH “stuff” that does NOT follow those simple rules, that perhaps we wax overly pedantic and “advicious.”

We want our submitters to become better writers, and we hope our submissions guidelines can help.

As to the Google ads, notice that they only appear on the pages WE write, never on those of our contributors. And it VERY much stays in the background.


[Don Webb] Yes, what Jerry says is quite true. We don’t really expect anybody to read our Submissions guidelines all the way through just for the fun of it, so to speak, but our contributors could save themselves and us a lot of time if they did so.

“Too much info”? Barely enough. All our guidelines address recurring problems. Whenever we have to ask for a rewrite or reject a submission, it’s much easier to supply a hot link than to search for boilerplate.

If anyone thinks our guidelines are unorthodox, well, that’s just too bad. We find them practical and distinctive.

As for adware, what’s wrong with that?

Don Webb, copy editor
Bewildering Stories

And “in all due disrespect...” we recently received from a would-be contributor:

You can’t tell me how to write my $&!% !

My response would have been: “Oh yes we can. And we can both like it or lump it.”

But Jerry, ever the “good cop,” wrote a polite reply. That’s why Jerry is our first reader and the captain on the bridge, diplomatically greeting visiting dignitaries...


Copyright © 2006 by Bewildering Stories

Home Page