The Feedback Option
We editors at TLR like to think we do a lot for the writers who submit their work to us. But we’re always looking to do a little bit more. We’ve been following the progress of our Feedback Option over the last three months—how many writers opt for Fiction Editor Joe Ponepinto’s personal assessment of their stories, how they respond, and how much extra work it creates. The bottom line is that it’s working, and manageable, and we’ve decided that it’s now feasible to expand the offering to nonfiction submissions as well, thanks to Nonfiction Editor YiShun Lai’s commitment and generosity. Starting today, writers who send us nonfiction or flash nonfiction will be able to select that option.
Instead of an email or a scrap of paper that says, “Sorry, not for us,” and leaves you wondering what the editor really thought (or if the editor even saw it), YiShun and I will give you our honest and professional assessment of the work. You may or may not agree (and you can read the specifics on our submission page), but at least you’ll get some insight into what we liked and didn’t like. Maybe it will help you get the story published somewhere else. Maybe it will improve your next submission to us. Maybe you’ll decide that submitting to TLR may not be the best match for your work. As writers ourselves, we believe that’s what you’d like from a journal.
So the story or poem you submitted simultaneously to ten or twenty publications was just accepted at one of them. Congratulations. You feel good for the rest of the day, and then you go about the responsibility of withdrawing the piece from consideration at the other journals. As you go through your list, though, maybe you start thinking about the next story or poem you can submit to them. Oh, but that means you need to pay the submission fee again. All those submissions and fees down the drain. It adds up. Being a writer can be pretty expensive at times.
We at TLR understand our fee is a little higher than most. But we do want to earn it. So in addition to things like financial transparency and the Feedback Option, we will now allow submitters whose stories are accepted elsewhere (and still under consideration at TLR) to replace their submissions to us for free. All they have to do is let us know where the story or poem was accepted, and we’ll open the submission so they can upload a new file. (And thanks to Michael and the folks at Submittable for giving us the ability to open files for editing in this way.)