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This may sound like a stupid question but I've never subbed to a magazine before. You guys don't make me feel embarassed anyways so here it goes:

Can you submit one article to more then one mag at a time? I have my eye on a few but I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket if you know what I mean.

#1 - February 07, 2008, 01:10 PM


It's called a simultaneous submission - and depending on the magazine, may or may not be okay. I would look under their writers' guidelines (which can be just as confusing as book publishers' guidelines) to see if they accept simsubs. Most don't want multiple (more than one) sub from you at one time. And let's face it, you don't want to send them TWO or more articles of yours at the same time - then they have to choose which ONE they want to buy... wait until your first submission to that particular magazine comes back (either a R or a contract) and then try try try again.

BTW, it is common courtesy to let the publishers know that you are simultaneously subbing to another publisher - though it may or may not help in the potential sale... some publications want things only developed for them/their market and take offense that something you wrote for them might work somewhere else... .others may ask you to tweak it to their specific style or they may tweak it for you (or did you do that so that the article/story has a more specialized feel to their market?)

Make sure you get to know the magazine that you want to sub to well before you send off to them.  Why do I say this? Because it is the most common complaint of editors - that writers haven't taken the time to evaluate their magazine and see how they can make their article/story etc fit their readership/style. I have TWO shelves in my office JUST for magazines that I want to/have subbed to.  Just like in book publishing, to succeed in the magazine markets you have to read read read read...

Maude  :broccoli
#2 - February 07, 2008, 02:20 PM


"Can you submit one article to more then one mag at a time? I have my eye on a few but I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket if you know what I mean."

I never do.  I've always subbed to one mag at a time, tailoring each sub to the specific magazine. Generally, simultaneous subs aren't as accepted or liked as much in magazine markets as in books.  I submit the article to one editor and then move on to the next project. If/when the article is rejected, then I send it on to the next magazine on my submission list. Check the magazine guidelines to see if you can query instead of sending the complete article.  That way you don't write the article until you've made a can tailor the article to the editor's specs without rewriting...and no manuscripts languish in the bottom drawer.
#3 - February 07, 2008, 03:36 PM

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Maude and SimplyFi have both given excellent suggestions.

I'm like SimplyFi and don't generally sub a piece to more than one magazine.  Occasionally, when I've thought a piece was lost or that the publication just wasn't going to reply because it was long past their usual response time, then I've subbed the piece somewhere else.

But let me tell you another good reason not to sub something more than one place.  I had a poem which I subbed to a magazine.  Their stated response time was 3 months and it had been more than 9 months since I'd subbed.  Obviously I assumed they didn't want my piece and I was getting ready to sub the poem somewhere else when I received a check in the mail and a contributor copy of the magazine with my poem published in it!  No preliminary letter asking if the poem was still available; no contract to sign.  Granted this was a smaller, lesser-known publication, but they've been in print for 37 years so they're not some hokey, disreputable company.  I was glad to get the check, but definitely a little disconcerted.

Can you imagine what would happen if you subbed to two places at the same time and both decided to publish your piece without checking with you first?  Not a likely scenario, of course, but who wants to risk it.
#4 - February 08, 2008, 08:12 PM

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I never sim sub to magazines. I usually write an article/story/poem with a magazine in mind. If the ms is rejected, then I tweak it for the next magazine. (Well, with poetry I guess I don't tweak too much. It's either a fit for that market or not.)

 I have heard of Ev's situation happening to other authors, too. Yikes!
#5 - February 08, 2008, 11:05 PM

I'd wait for a response.

I subbed a story to a magazine and, while it was with them, I fleshed the story out, made it longer and more detailed, and subbed that version to a different magazine. Both mags ended up wanting the stories I sent, but I had to explain to the second mag's editor about the first acceptance. Because of the similarities in the stories, the longer version couldn't be accepted for the second mag. If I had waited, I could have saved the editor's time and effort (and my own.) Live and learn (or come to Verla's and learn--much easier!)
#6 - February 08, 2008, 11:23 PM

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If you're thinking of subbing to LADYBUG and HIGHLIGHTS, I wouldn't, for the reasons outlined above.

But if you're subbing to a bunch of small noncompeting denominational mags that only buy one-time rights, it's okay.  The key words there are noncompeting and one-time rights.  But there aren't that many of those any more so I'm guessing you're thinking of bigger mags, and I wouldn't.
#7 - February 09, 2008, 04:22 AM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others


Thanks Ladies.

There is one particular mag where I went  :applause in thought of 'this would be just right for them' but I was hinking...wondering if I should put all my hopes on one. You know what I mean?
#8 - February 09, 2008, 10:52 PM

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I do know what you mean.

One of the hardest things for me to accept when I started sending out my writing was how long everything took. Getting the manuscript ready can take a long time, mailing things through the post office can take a long time, and getting a response can take a long time. It's not that you're putting all of your eggs in one basket, it's just that if the first magazine doesn't prove to be a good fit, it's going to take another 3-6 months to find out what the next magazine thinks. It's such a long process.

The easiest way to deal with it is to keep writing and keep your mss circulating. When you've sent something out, let it go until it comes back, or gets accepted. Move on to your next project. I know everyone gives this same advice when it comes to subbing and waiting, but it's really the best way I've found to deal with the magazine waiting game.

#9 - February 10, 2008, 12:05 AM


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