Should I submit my story to multiple magazines?

Well, let’s see. I never really liked to “blog,” but one of my editors has “encouraged” me to do so—something to do with getting traffic to my website. Not wanting to argue, I said to myself: why not?

Yes, most definitely, you should submit your story to multiple magazines.

But-but-but, what if their submission guidelines say they don’t accept simultaneous submissions?

Well, let’s see. My first story was published by a magazine that said the same thing. Guess what; I sent that story to five magazines at the same time, the same day. Two said no, two never responded, one said yes. So there you have it. By the way, the last form rejection came two years after the magazine that said “yes” published my story. What do you think about that? If I had been a good boy and followed blindly what some editors preach about instead of submitting one story to many places, write a lot of story and submit each to one place, and then wait, and wait, and wait… I would have been waiting for a long time, quite possibly until my original story became dated and nobody would want to publish it.

Bottom line: you want to be published. Jumping around hoops to avoid inconveniencing some editor won’t help your goal much. I’m trying to remember the last time the New York Times and the Paris Times both accepted one of my stories and I had to tell no to one of them. Heartbreaking. Oh wait, neither one accepted my stories. Oh well.

Oh, but what if they put me on a blacklist and they never accept any of my future stories?

Well, let’s see. If they do that, what can you do? Just keep submitting to the other hundred + venues that accept stories. If a magazine will go through the trouble of blacklisting your email/name for getting “caught” submitting to multiple places (that is, of course, assuming they accepted your story at the same time some other magazine did and you had to tell them no), perhaps that is not a place you would want to deal with anymore. Especially since there are so many publishers who DO accept simultaneous submissions and even encourage you to do so.

Oh, but what if other publishers know I submit to multiple places, and they all blacklist me?

Not going to happen. Trust me, publishers are swamped with submissions, and they have better things to do than to keep track of “rebels.” Also, publishers tend to be on the lookout for great stories. If your work is excellent, publishers would need to be really “challenged” (to put it mildly) to reject you based on your past “dark history.”

OK, but what if a publisher tells me that they will reject all my future stories unread?

They may tell you that. Try sending your stories and see if they follow through. I bet if one of your stories is the perfect fit for their magazine, they will accept it. After all, are you writing based on guidelines, or are you writing based on creativity? Break the mold. Nobody wants run-of-the-mill stories written by run-of-the-mill writers who follow guidelines as if holy gospel descended on a flying camel from the heavens above. Take a risk, even if that significant risk is in the form of submitting the same story simultaneously to more than one venue.

You might be oh so overly happy you did.