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Atlantis
02-13-2008, 03:53 PM
I just finished my first short story and have started searching the internet for magazines. On alot of the website it says to attach the manuscript as an RTF document, what's that? how do you do it?

I have another question about submission rules. Do I need to include a query letter? does it have to be really short and basic or include a mini synopsis (4 lines or so) in it like in a novel submission? do I need to include a longer synopsis in addition to a query?

Thanks!

Atlantis :)

astonwest
02-13-2008, 04:12 PM
Save your document as a "rich text format" document, and attach it to your e-mail.

At least with MS Word, you just do a "save as" and then change the file type.

And I have never done a full-blown query letter for a short story...I usually just state "I am submitting [title] for consideration. I have had stories published in [magazine] and my novella Heroes Die Young is slated for publication...[snip]"

Twizzle
02-13-2008, 06:53 PM
ss queries are basically letters asking if you can submit a story for them to review. This would be for publications that don't take unsolicited mss.

In this case, you're actually submitting a story, so you might want to send a cover letter. If you do, it's very brief-word count, title, if it's orig/unpub/, any writing credits you have, and basically that's it. I'm still low on coffee this morn, so hopefully someone will jump in with anything I missed.

I always send a cover now-just because a couple times I didn't, and got emails back asking if the story was unpub'd, etc. so to save time, I just send one.

maestrowork
02-13-2008, 07:19 PM
I just finished my first short story and have started searching the internet for magazines. On alot of the website it says to attach the manuscript as an RTF document, what's that? how do you do it?


What astonwest said. Most word processor can save to "Rich Text Format." It's a bare minimum file format (with some formatting like margin, etc.) that any word process can read. It's small and can be sent to anybody without the problem with viruses (Word document, on the other hand, may carry a virus and many people won't accept them).


I have another question about submission rules. Do I need to include a query letter? does it have to be really short and basic or include a mini synopsis (4 lines or so) in it like in a novel submission? do I need to include a longer synopsis in addition to a query?


Check the publisher's submission guidelines. If they don't have one posted, call and ask. Otherwise, the standard for short story is: Just send the ms. with a cover letter. No need to query or send a synopsis. In your cover, just state the information about your work, maybe include a VERY short synopsis, sometimes not even that. Just say "here's a short story for your consideration." A cover is just an intro so you don't just dump the ms. on them. It's more polite.

mikeland
02-13-2008, 07:54 PM
I agree with what others have said. The cover letter is short and businesslike. I often also say if I am submitting to other magazines, but a lot of people on the boards disagree with me on that. Make sure you check the guidelines on the website for any additional information the magazine specifically requests.

Don't say anything about the story itself in the cover letter, except the title and word count. Let the story sell itself. The editor/reader is going to read the story anyway. They can get turned off by a synopsis. And they can get really annoyed if the author tries to tell them what to think or feel about the story.

Anyway, just my two cents.

astonwest
02-14-2008, 03:06 AM
I often also say if I am submitting to other magazines, but a lot of people on the boards disagree with me on that. Most of the places I submit to don't allow simultaneous submissions, so...
;)

blacbird
02-14-2008, 03:26 AM
Most of the places I submit to don't allow simultaneous submissions, so...
;)

Most of the places I submit to don't seem to allow any submissions at all . . .

caw

astonwest
02-14-2008, 02:16 PM
Most of the places I submit to don't seem to allow any submissions at all . . .Those are usually agents, in my experience...

But they really don't like short stories...for some reason. ;)

eqb
02-14-2008, 06:32 PM
Here are the guidelines Strange Horizons uses for cover letters. (http://www.strangehorizons.com/guidelines/fiction-cover-letter.shtml)

Their guidelines match what I've seen for nearly all the SF/F magazines I submit to.

Dragon-lady
02-15-2008, 01:09 AM
Just one point. Some publishers won't open an attachment unless there is a cover letter so including one with email submissions is a good idea. I routinely steal the 1st Strange Horizons cover letter (changing the credits of course LOL).