I was a little discouraged to lose out on a writing contest. When I saw the winner of one magazine’s latest contest, it really made me think of something. Theme has to do with going into a bar. As I read the winner’s story, I kept thinking, “What was the point of this story?” Read it over again and kept concluding the same thing. From this, one can come to two conclusions: either I’m so far behind as a writer that I can’t recognize good writing or that this winning entry really, really sucks and that I can have some success if I work hard and keep submitting.
There was a previous contest where I submitted what I thought was a good story, saw what won and wondered why such a mediocre piece of writing would win. Maybe I’m whining, or maybe the magazine’s judges just have really bizarre standards.
I encountered a problem recently that reminded me of a snag a few years ago when trying to contribute a short story to a science fiction magazine. They accept snail mail submissions only. The query and manuscript must be sent, along with an SASE, to the publisher. Depending on where you live and to where you’re sending it, you’re looking at at least three days before they receive it. When I asked the magazine about this, they stated that they don’t open attachments because of the concern about viruses. That’s fine and dandy, I suppose, but why not just accept submissions where the text is pasted into the e-mail itself?
There are two columns of mine, Richard’s Ramblings and My Two Shekels, that are submitted to clients by pasting into a text box. With this, why in late 2007 do some companies still prefer to live in the 20th century when it comes to submitting writing work?