Many times I’ve come across guidelines demanding something along the lines of: “Your submission must be in 12.468pt, Arial Syndrome Font, double-and-a-half-spaced, margins of 489^2 microns, and a background with a sense of style. Furthermore, we only publish stories from writers who identify with gender x-4804.38 version 2.6, and who vote for this candidate and take this medical procedure no questions asked. Oh, and the story must start with the following sentence, and end with the following sentence. Oh, and the rest of the story must talk about the following points.”
Nice. So, should you submit your story to these type of publishers? I wouldn’t. I write stories of whatever pops into my mind at any given time. I don’t write for markets, I write stories first, then I search for markets that might appreciate a particular story.
Please do yourself a favor and do the rest of us, the reading public, a favor: write what you want to write and then find the right market for it. Don’t contribute to ruining the craft. Don’t contribute to enabling the thought “leaders” to make us dumber than we already are. Instead, create.
So what if you don’t get published? Do you think getting published by one of the above mentioned outfits is some sort of achievement? It would be akin to a sheep feeling realized for following the other sheep into the slaughterhouse.
Do it for your neighbor. Write what you want to write about.