Electronic Submissions Pushing SASEs Toward Extinction

Posted on December 28, 2006

Editors and publishers at some publications jumped on email and started accepting submissions electronically during the 90s when the Internet was first growing as a medium. The transition to electronic submissions was not nearly as fast or as easy for some of the smaller staffed literary publications. Poets & Writers has a new article that looks at the issue of electronic submissions and SASEs. The article says that many of the literary publications are now accepting online submissions thanks in part to new submissions management software from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP).

Those behind online submission note that it saves money on postage and curbs response times:
Proponents of online submissions say the process saves money on postage and paper and cuts down on response times, since it curtails much of the administrative work involved in logging, assigning, and distributing manuscripts once they are received by a magazine. It also reduces the chances of submissions being lost. Online submission systems usually notify writers once their work is received. After setting up accounts, writers can also log on to the journal's Web site, determine whether their work is still under consideration, or review what they have previously submitted.
Poets & Writers also says the last the CLMP unveiled online software called Submissions Manager that helps publications manage submissions. It also enables writers to log their submissions.

Specialized web software probably makes it easier for these publications to manage large numbers of electronic submissions. The article does mention downsides to electronic submissions for editors and publishers. There is the risk of eyestrain from reading so many stories on the computer. There is also the increased volume of submissions some publications receive once they open their electronic doors. However, online submissions is where the industry has been headed ever since email and online HTML forms were invented and even editors that are not keen on electronic submissions are grudgingly starting to accept them.