Contacting Bewildering Stories
|page index: anchor links|
Preferred file formats|
Reviews and Excerpts
We welcome submissions. To expedite consideration, please e-mail them to the appropriate editors. Please include the title of the story, poem or essay in the subject line. Generic subject lines make submissions very hard to find and retrieve.
We often receive blank e-mails that contain only an attachment. Please don’t do that! As a general rule, e-mail that does not state a purpose qualifies as spam.
|The names and titles in blue and boldface are “mailto” links.|
|Submissions sent to more than one publication at the same time are special cases. They should be directed to the Managing Editor. Please see the explanation here.|
|Manuscripts in English as a Second Language or translations from languages other than English should go to the Managing Editor.|
|Charles C. Cole (Flash Fiction and Drama Editor) — “Flash fiction” is prose between 500 and 1,000 words in length. “Drama” is anything formatted for theatre or film.|
|John Stocks (Poetry Editor) — “Poetry” is anything in verse, or prose poetry, or lyrical essays.|
|Fiction and non-fiction other than poetry and flash fiction should be sent to the Managing Editor.|
Some older browsers may not understand the mailto links. If you have trouble with any of them, please follow the instructions under “Mailto Link” at the bottom of this page. If, for some odd reason, your e-mail returns a bounce notice, try one of the other editors.
Please do not use the addresses firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; they are defunct. Even if your message doesn’t bounce back to you as undeliverable, it will be lost.
We enjoy hearing from our readers and appreciate your helping us make our webzine even better.
If you send us a letter of general interest, we may want to publish it. We’ll send you a message saying we’d like to include it in our Letters department unless you say otherwise. Of course we’ll edit out any routine personal or editorial matters.
We will not publish or otherwise divulge your e-mail address, postal address or telephone number unless you explicitly ask us to. See also “Forwardings,” below.
Exception: Submissions often contain the author’s complete coordinates. That’s perfectly okay, but the Managing Editor will remove them from the file only in the final editing process. In the meantime, the file may circulate to three or more editors. Only the Managing Editor, the special editors, and the Coordinating Editors — who are listed on our Info page — are authorized to correspond with contributors.
Acknowledgements and replies
We try to acknowledge all submissions. If you don’t receive an acknowledgement within three days, please inquire. If you don’t receive a reply to the query within three days, please contact one of the other editors; there may be an emergency.
Certain e-mail services may block e-mail from entire domains as a defense against spam. The mail may not even bounce; it may simply be deleted. We have been unable to reply to some contributors because their own or their providers’ spam filters apparently prevented them from receiving even legitimate e-mail.
Bewildering Stories has the simplest submissions guideline on the Internet: “Please send us something, we’ll be glad to consider it. If we have questions, we’ll ask.”
Our Submissions page has important information in the header section. Otherwise it serves as a reference work. We frequently link to various parts of it in correspondence, as a time-saver. The Review Readers’ Checklist summarizes succinctly and offers solutions to the 12 problems most frequently encoutered in submissions.
We try to give all submissions at least two readings. In the process, manuscripts may circulate between as many as four editors. Every submission needs a title and byline; otherwise, we may lose track of who wrote what. For example:
- The Other World [Title]
- by Cyrano de Bergerac [Byline]
Please send texts in the format easiest for you. If we have trouble opening a file, we’ll let you know.
- Plain text in the body of an e-mail message. This is most practical for works shorter than 1,000 words. You can specify special formatting in a note at the top.
- Word.doc and Word.docx are commonly used.
- RTF (Rich Text Format) is also available in most word processors.
Please do not use:
- Download links. They often don‘t work, and BwS does not trust their security. When they do work, the resulting webarchives are too hard to work with.
- WordPerfect RTF. WordPerfect garbles RTF files. We can read plaintext WordPerfect files only in NeoOffice.
- Open Office (.odt), for the same reasons as WordPerfect.
- PDF files. Adobe Acrobat has its uses, but it makes submissions very hard to work with.
- .txt files. Not all readers have Text-Edit and may not be able to open the file. Also, the paragraphing, punctuation and even spelling may be lost.
- Zipped files were useful in bygone times for contributors who had only slow, dial-up connections. Today, they are commonly used by criminals to send malware, especially Trojan Horses. E-mail hacks occur frequently; we can’t assume that compressed files actually come from the putative sender. Sorry, files that are zipped or compressed in any format will be deleted unopened.
Plain text in e-mail
Macintosh — in RTF
Word.doc or .docx
RTF in most word processors
Adobe Acrobat Reader|
However, if you’ve sent a submission without having seen these guidelines, please don’t worry about it; we’ll be glad to hear from you, and we can talk about any transmission problems.
Reviews and Excerpts
Please see our Submissions page at Reviews and Interviews.
We will probably accept reviews from veteran contributors to Bewildering Stories. The authors may review anything they wish except their own works.
We offer a special opportunity to our veteran contributors: excerpts. They are free advertising for works in print. Complete information is available on our Submissions page and under the related links.
The Managing Editor will forward mail on request, within limits. A request to forward any message also constitutes a request to include the sender’s e-mail address.
We often receive “fan mail” or other requests to contact our authors. We forward the mail to the author’s last recorded address and encourage the author to reply directly to the sender. If the forwarding bounces, we’ll let you know.
A request to forward a message must say for whom the message is intended, otherwise it may be disregarded. Do we get such messages? Honestly, you’d be amazed...
Some older Net browsers don’t understand the “mailto” link. If you have trouble with it, do the following:
- Copy this e-address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Open a new e-mail message.
- Paste the address into the “To:” line. Proceed normally.
The message will go to the Managing Editor.
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