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Tracking submissions

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Are there any good software programs designed to track submissions? I would be interested in hearing how all of you organize your submissions. Some of my writing friends use Excel and some have their own elaborate color coding system. Any tips?
#1 - September 26, 2008, 07:08 AM



I just use my own system. I create a file for each manuscript. I list a number of potential people it can go to. I send it out, marking the date I sent. When I get a reply, I go into the file and mark it down. That's it. I now do this in Excel, but I used to just do it in Word.

I know there are online sites you can use, as well, but for me personally that's getting way too complicated.
#2 - September 26, 2008, 07:47 AM


I opt for the lazy route. Lol. I have two folders in my e-mail account, one for "Sent to" and one for "Responses" when I send out a query I save a copy of it in the sent to folder (which records also the date of the submission, who I sent it to, and at what time exactly) and when I get a response I move it to the responses folder. It's fast, and gives me all the information I need.

As for who to send to, I usually write up a word doc and list all the agents that I've researched and think might be matches for my MS.
#3 - September 26, 2008, 07:52 AM

I use Excel. I highlight the name when I add a submission entry and remove the highlight if I get a rejection. I change the color for a request. Makes it easy for me to see the responses I'm still waiting for. I also include what was sent, email or snail, when, the agency, date of response, and finally, any relevant notes I have or comments received. At the bottom, sometimes I list names I still plan to send to.

It works pretty well for me, anyway. I like having it all in one place, easy to see and ctrl-F searchable.

For that reason, I personally wouldn't bother with other software or websites. I know some people use querytracker, though.
#4 - September 26, 2008, 08:05 AM
CLAWS, Chicken House 2012
JALA'S MASK, Pyr, November 4, 2014

I use a similar method to Diane, though in Word, just because I'm usually in that program so it saves me time from switching to Excel.

I keep a computer folder titled "Tracking Subs" and each file is named for the project I'm subbing. I just use the tool for Tables in Word, making three columns labeled: Sent to, When Sent, Response. If it's a form rejection, I just mark the letter "F" with the date. If there's a personal note, I write P, with a few notes of what they say, and highlight it so I remember to send that editor something else that may work for them.

My deskā€”not so organized, but this easy system has really helped me keep track of my submissions.
#5 - September 26, 2008, 08:07 AM
THESE THINGS COUNT! award-winning nature series Albert Whitman
TWIGS (YA)  Merit Press

NC Girl

I also found Excel easy to use.  I loved Rachel's idea of color-coding.

As time went on, I would keep a handwritten list of fulls that were out in my notebook.  I think I just liked to look at the list and not have to skim through my Excel sheet.

I'm sure you'll find the way that works for you.
#6 - September 26, 2008, 09:42 AM

I used to use Excel...1 tab for agents 1 tab for editors 1 tab for rejections
#7 - September 26, 2008, 09:55 AM
Stephanie J. Blake
MY ROTTEN FRIEND (Albert Whitman, September 1, 2015)
THE MARBLE QUEEN (Two Lions, December 1, 2012)

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I have a chronological log of everything I send out, when I sent it, and when I heard back.  I make a mark in the margin when it comes back, so I can see pretty quickly what's still out there.
Then I use a spreadsheet that tracks every story I've ever sent out down the left column, and the people I've sent it to across the top row.  An X in a cell means that person rejected that story; a checkmark means they accepted it; a slash means it's still with them.  I highlight the slashes in red so I can see instantly which projects are out there.
The spreadsheet lets me see who likes what kind of work (by what they accepted/rejected in the past), and also ensures that I won't send the same story to the same person twice.
Now that I have an agent, I still track my submissions.  I know he tracks them too, but I figure it's my responsibility to know where my stuff is.
#8 - September 26, 2008, 04:30 PM
Jennifer R. Hubbard

Loner in the Garret: A Writer's Companion
Until It Hurts to Stop
Try Not to Breathe
The Secret Year


I use and really like it.
It's got a free version which is actually really comprehensive and tracks all the basic and important stuff -- who you queried, when, how, what the response was, went you sent a submission, etc.... It's also got a paid version ($20 a year I think, so still very inexpensive) which has a few extra features -- you can run charts and stuff.
You can also do cool things like find out who reps who, read response times and comments, see what books an agents reps, and that kind of thing on the free version. I find it all really helpful.
#9 - September 26, 2008, 08:46 PM


Thanks for all your helpful answers. Now, I have to go organize everything.
Not my favorite part... I guess the good news is I've outgrown my pencil/notebook method.

#10 - September 27, 2008, 04:51 AM

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I use an Excel spreadsheet as well. Publishers down the side, manuscript titles across the top. I xxx out any publisher that wouldn't be right for the ms. When I send it I type Sent __/__/08 in the box and when I receive it back I type Rej __/__/08.  This way I always know exactly who has what and don't mistakenly send 2 mss to the same publisher at one time.

I keep a each manuscript in a separate file folder and have a submission sheet in stapled in the front of each with columns for which copy it is (2,5, etc.), words, who sent to, date, postage, date back, what received (form rejection, comments, etc.)

It's fairly speedy to fill in the blanks.
#11 - October 03, 2008, 07:09 PM


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