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Bewildering Stories

Submissions Guidelines:
Short Form

Do you have a story, poem, essay or article you’d like to send us? We’ll be glad to consider it.

  1. Our official motto is “Proofreading never ends.”
    Have you proofread the text? Is it just the way you want it? If you’re still having second thoughts, please keep working on it.

    If your final draft is ready, please proofread it again for errors that your spellchecker can’t catch, typically homophones such as “there” for “they’re” or “their” and “it’s” for “its” or vice-versa. Everyone would surely love a punctuation-checker, but we know of none — yet.

  2. Does your tense, action-packed story contain the naughty “f-” or “s-” words? Delete or replace them; they’re not allowed.

  3. Are any of the paragraphs a bit long, say about ten lines? If so, please try to split them up. The editor takes our “long road” guideline very seriously and will apply it as needed. We much prefer that you do it yourself.

  4. Now, is your word processor file all ready to be printed out on paper? Double spacing? Centered headers? Footers with page numbers? Paragraphs painstakingly indented by a tab, in manual-typewriter style?

    Okay, now make a duplicate of your print-on-paper file and delete all that formatting! We want plain vanilla. Our Sample Page shows what it looks like. Our Style Manual summarizes what goes into editing a file.

  5. Ready to send? We want to make sending as easy as possible for you. You have basically two options:

    1. Copy-paste the text into the body of an e-mail message. This strategy is best suited to relatively short texts. How short is “short”? Whatever is convenient for you. If your e-mailer allows RTF (rich text format), italicized words will transmit intact.
    2. Send the file as an e-mail attachment. We can work with some file formats but not others. Please click here for the list.

    3. Do you need to send a cover letter? Yes, we like them. And please make sure the message is personal, not generic “wallpaper.” We sometimes receive submissions that consist only of an attachment. We have to ask what we’re supposed to do with it. Even if the message has only our e-address, we assume that other recipients may be in the bcc line, and we wonder whether it may be spam.

    4. Our e-address can be found at the bottom of the Submissions page or at the top of the Contact page. We could put it here, but we want you to see those pages, too.

    Best of luck. And now return to the Submissions guidelines; they can be a real eye-opener.

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