Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

Providing crack* to even more authors

Weird Tales Magazine has become the 6th magazine to adopt the submissions system I originally developed for Clarkesworld. You can find their submission page here. I’m quite happy to have them join the gang, which now consists of Clarkesworld, Fantasy, Electric Velocipede, Asimov’s and Lightspeed. Stay tuned… three more are in the works and there are two others currently kicking the tires.

* I’ve seen the submissions system described as crack for authors. It amuses me. Yeah, I know crack is bad for you, but they don’t really mean it that way… I hope.


Awards Season and Clarkesworld


Clarkesworld Magazine – Issue 53, February 2011


  1. That’s fantastic! It is a great submission system.

  2. Let me just say, you’re doing a great thing for the business. It’s a good, clean system that really seems to work well. I hope it replaces the snail-mail system altogether, as far as magazines go. 🙂

  3. As someone on the slush reading side of your submissions system, thank you!

  4. Each magazine is independent. Submission history is not shared data.

  5. Re: improving your submission system.

    With over 10k submissions behind me and over 20 years of employment in education (lots and lots of papers), I can’t say that accepting .rtf or .doc files has caused me any trouble. The only real problems I’ve seen have been with files created in OpenOffice and by people who think renaming a .docx file to .doc converts it.

    Can you suggest another extremely common file format that leaves documents in an editable format?

    • Re: improving your submission system.

      I’m not sure how you are using Word, but about one in every ten files I receive in Word format displays other than the author intended on my system.

      Even at $dayjob, where all the systems are built using the same OS, same Office install, running on the same Dell Hardware, the same ratio holds true.

      It’s not that Word screwing things up is the magazine’s fault, but it’s certain not MY fault.

      So my problem here is that anything I submit to them may or may not be read, for reasons which I cannot in any manner control. Knowing on a technical level some of the issues Word has, what this really amounts to is:

      “Please submit your document in SMF, created in the same version of Microsoft Word running on the same operating system which we are using here in the office. Which we haven’t told you.”

      This is not a reasonable request.

      If I export a PDF from Scrivener (or anything else) it displays the same everywhere.

      If I export a Word document from Scrivener who knows how it might display. As the most recent experience showed, opening up the document in Word and saving it again caused the display formatting to be destroyed.

      Just for fun, I’ve now opened the document on 5 different OSes and versions of Word, and it doesn’t display the same on any three of them. There are 3 variants. Fixing the paragraph formatting on one of them and saving it caused the pairings of which two had the same display changed.

      • Re: improving your submission system.

        PDF is not an acceptable solution for editors. I understand you are having trouble with .doc/.rtf, but you haven’t suggested a viable alternative that I can push. Editors must be able to edit the file.

        In the end, the best solution is for editors to be a little more flexible/understanding when the problem isn’t obviously an author ignoring the formatting requirements.

        • Re: improving your submission system.

          Yeah, that’s true.

          I’ll accept that editors probably prefer Word (got knows why) but I am not sure why PDF isn’t acceptable. Adobe Acrobat allows full editing control, and is both cheaper than Microsoft Word, and works consistently across multiple platforms.

          Anyway, I find it entirely amusing that I can more consistently control how my stories display on a hundred different cell phone and tablet makes, models and operating systems using ePub and Mobi than on a fully functioning modern computer system.

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