Thanks to those of you who have already submitted to our journal for the Spring/Summer issue. Wow, what a turnout! The deadline is right around the corner, and I encourage anyone else interested to please get your submissions in (at least postmarked by) March 1st.
I do want to point out that those submitting should FIRST read the “About moonShine review” page on our website to gain some insight as to what our journal is all about. And I encourage writers to read one of our issues, if you have not already done so. Photographers, I encourage you to pick up a sample issue, too, and remember that we feature only ONE photographer per issue, so providing a variety of sample photographs when submitting is important. (Of course, I understand it is late in the game now to read an issue, but please look over the whole website at least.)
And then you should very carefully read the revised submission guidelines. No, the basic guidelines have not changed, but I have clarified much and added detail where it was needed — and tried even more to stress what we require. I truly appreciate some of the questions people have posed in emails directly to me, and I want to make sure those questions are answered for everyone.
And I now realize there’s a reason why I encounter LONG notes from editors on their guidelines pages. It appears we do have to say something more than once (or ten times) to get our point across to some. Thus, I would like to reiterate here that we judge your entries anonymously, so it is extremely important that you NOT include your name or any personal information on the pieces you submit. That is for the cover page, where you should list the titles of the stories you are submitting. Trust me. I will see to it that your story gets “reattached” to you once the judging has been completed. That’s a promise.
But there’s more to it than leaving your name off the piece. It is very important to us that your piece is formatted to meet certain basic standards, i.e., double space, indent the first lines of paragraphs, do NOT put extra spaces between paragraphs, do NOT use fancy fonts (Times New Roman, 12 point, is our preference). And PLEASE do not highlight your story title uniquely nor place lines on the page that are markedly unusual, or include any design element whatsoever.
We have three main reasons for the above requests:
(1) Please appreciate that we have MANY entries to read, and our eyes get tired. It benefits you to make it easier on us. We get “testy” after the tenth story that looks “unique” (especially when “unique” equals harder to read).
(2) When you submit more than one piece for consideration, and all of them have your “personal look” that is different from anyone else’s, we can’t judge “anonymously” because we already know we’ve read something by you.
(3) We judge based on the content, not the context. You should be confident that your piece speaks for itself and doesn’t need anything “fancy” to get it passed through. This is not a job interview, and your piece doesn’t need to stand out visually like a resume. It needs to speak for itself.
(4) [I said three because I wanted you to read 4 …] Most folks volunteer all of their time and commitment to this journal, including judges. But that also includes those individuals who (a) sort all the entries, (b) make sure that a comprehensive spreadsheet is created with every entry’s personal information and the pieces submitted, (c) number all of the pieces so that we can judge anonymously, (d) check all of the information for accuracy, and (e) make multiple copies of each of your entries for each judge. In deference to the many hours these volunteers are already willing and eager to give, it is not fair to ask them to also “white out names and personal information” and check every page of every story for this. (I didn’t even include the time it takes to open all the envelopes!)
I hate to go on about this, and I do so appreciate the many, many, MANY folks who have followed all of the guidelines each and every time they have submitted to us. But it is a fact that people don’t read instructions carefully, even writers … and that’s our gig!
So, again, I encourage you to check out our submission guidelines. I encourage you to ask me any question that is not already apparent on the guidelines page. That only helps me to improve, and I want to make this process good for you as well as us. I take full responsibility for anything that has been omitted and want to correct that whenever possible.
And please know that we want you to submit! Again, this has been the greatest turnout ever, and we are so excited to get down to work!
Thanks so much.
Anne M. Hicks
Executive Editor and Publisher