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View Full Version : Ireland: An Post and international reply coupons



WaveHopper
05-22-2012, 12:21 AM
Anybody else find themselves in my predicament?

I'm unpublished but decided to "start at the top" and submit my first short story to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

I followed their submission guidelines to the letter - they only accept a printed manuscript by snail mail with inclusion of an SASE. I went into the GPO on Saturday, and they told me that Ireland discontinued international stamps (reply coupons) over five years ago. The "unofficial" advice was to go up the North.

Now, I haven't sent an SASE since many moons ago when I joined the Denis the Menace fan club so maybe there isn't much demand. But I googled a bit and found other people on forums complaining, and saying we're one of the few countries not to offer the service.

I don't really want to ask family/friends in the U.S. to print out the story and organize the postal. It's kind of a personal thing, that first submission. But I also can't justify spending a day trip over the border for the 1 in a billion chance that I'll be published :Shrug:

Must admit, I'm very disappointed. It was a big step to get as far as submitting! Anyway, I've uploaded it via electronic submission to the Ellery Queen Magazine, I just worry that it's a bit hard-boiled, it was a better fit for AHMM I think.

Ah well. I emailed a comment to AHMM with the problem. Maybe they'll move with the times. Or tell me to send my valet with the manuscript on a silver dish :cry:

Xelebes
05-22-2012, 12:48 AM
Is this a problem in the RoI or in NI?

fireluxlou
05-22-2012, 12:56 AM
Well she mentions Ireland and being told to go up North to do reply coupons, when people usually mention just Ireland they mean RoI.

WaveHopper
05-22-2012, 12:56 AM
Problem is in the ROI. The coupons are available in the U.K. So the unofficial advice I was given was "go up north", which means drive up and over the border to Newry. That's what I meant by not justifying a day trip to go over the border.

It's unfortunate, as we'd be a much smaller stream of submitters, I guess, so I can't imagine AHMM will take much notice to my plea. The policy does put international writers in less affluent countries at a real disadvantage in terms of postage costs (I know Ireland is on the brink financially, but we're relatively well off compared to many others).

Oh, one final edit. In case anyone is wondering if "An Post" in the subject is a typo, that's the Gaelic for our national postal service.

Xelebes
05-22-2012, 01:24 AM
Well she mentions Ireland and being told to go up North to do reply coupons, when people usually mention just Ireland they mean RoI.

Hah, missed that. I thought I read that she had to cross the sea. *knocks own head*

WaveHopper
05-22-2012, 01:29 AM
Hah, missed that. I thought I read that she had to cross the sea. *knocks own head*

Ha, rowing across the ocean in my little boat. I'm not that motivated to be honest :cry::D

frimble3
05-22-2012, 03:35 AM
Anybody else find themselves in my predicament?

I'm unpublished but decided to "start at the top" and submit my first short story to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

I followed their submission guidelines to the letter - they only accept a printed manuscript by snail mail with inclusion of an SASE. I went into the GPO on Saturday, and they told me that Ireland discontinued international stamps (reply coupons) over five years ago. The "unofficial" advice was to go up the North.

Now, I haven't sent an SASE since many moons ago when I joined the Denis the Menace fan club so maybe there isn't much demand. But I googled a bit and found other people on forums complaining, and saying we're one of the few countries not to offer the service.

I don't really want to ask family/friends in the U.S. to print out the story and organize the postal. It's kind of a personal thing, that first submission. But I also can't justify spending a day trip over the border for the 1 in a billion chance that I'll be published :Shrug:

If there's a chance that you'll run into this situation in the future, ask those friends/family in the U.S. to send you a bunch of actual U.S. stamps, and a postage-rate sheet. Then you can go into your An office and ask them to weigh your return-packaged manuscript, affix the correct US postage, shove the whole thing into your envelope, put your usual postage on the outside of that, and mail it.

aikigypsy
05-22-2012, 03:06 PM
I recently subbed to AHMM, too, and my understanding from their guidelines was that you can just send a regular letter-sized SASE along with the manuscript, if you don't want the manuscript returned.

An international letter stamp from the US should cost $1.05. Honestly, I would just ask someone to send you a few, though I can understand not wanting to get friends and family involved. You could send them tea in exchange.

Theo81
05-22-2012, 10:47 PM
You can buy stamps from the UK Post Office website and print them directly onto your envelope. I've had a poke around the site but I can't find anything at all about IRCs. Try winging a message to the Royal Mail Customer Services.

muse
05-23-2012, 02:56 PM
Hi WaveHopper

Read your post yesterday and checked with my local post office this morning. (Figured I could get the international reply coupons and send them to you.) Was told they stopped doing them here a couple of months ago and nothing has been drafted in to replace them.

Your best bet is to do as Theo1 suggests, check out the website and see if your can print the IRC's.

Sorry I couldn't help. Good luck with the subs.

aikigypsy
05-24-2012, 07:44 PM
Here's another thing to try. You could try to buy US postage stamps directly from the USPS, but I don't know for sure if they will ship to Ireland -- they probably might, though. That way you wouldn't have to get anyone else involved, and could order more as needed.

https://ecom-prod.usps.com/store/browse/category.jsp?categoryId=catBuyStamps

waylander
05-24-2012, 09:51 PM
AFAIK you need a US address to buy stamps online from USPS

WaveHopper
05-24-2012, 11:06 PM
Thanks, everybody, for the advice and suggestions.

And thanks to AHMM for also being helpful. I submitted a comment via their webpage, and I never really expect those messages to end up anywhere useful. But I got a reply back saying that they understood the problem, and they would work around it - that I should send the manuscript with a cover letter recounting the issue and communication could be via email. So thumbs up for them, although I really would prefer if they moved to electronic submission.