Friday, 14 September 2012

How long are people waiting for responses to submissions?

I'm pretty out of touch with the women's magazine market at the moment, because I'm working on a novel and not writing or submitting anything. But I've heard that some magazines are taking a very long time to respond to submissions - 9 months or more!

What are your experiences - how long is each magazine currently taking to respond? Add comments here to share knowledge, so that others know what to expect.

Usually, if you haven't heard for 6 months you can assume it's a rejection. But if a magazine takes 9 months to respond they could be in trouble - many writers will resubmit a story elsewhere after 6 months.

Dear editors, if you're reading this, we know you're overworked and often overwhelmed with submissions, but if it is possible to let us know realistically how long to wait for a response we'd be most grateful.


By the way, my holiday was amazing, fabulous, incredible - probably the best ever. We had a couple of days in the Amazon jungle, then went to Cusco, walked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, then went overland to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, visited various islands, then went to La Paz, did some more hiking, then  went to Lima for the last few days. Just 1800 photos to sort through...

I thoroughly recommend Peru and Bolivia as holiday destinations, and can't speak highly enough of G Adventures. For most of the trip we were on a G Adventures tour. They're brilliant.

35 comments:

Lydia said...

Not noticing any major difference in response time: still around 3 - 4 months mainly.

JO said...

I've no news on submission times - but am drooling over your holiday. Sounds totally wonderful - hope you'll treat us to some photos once they're sorted.

Julie P said...

I haven't noticed any difference either - mainly because I don't always chase them up, lol! I always assume after 6 months it's a no and I sub elsewhere.

Julie

Gail Crane said...

The ones I've never had a reply from are Fast Fiction and Womans Day (both Australian) and You (S Africa).
I tend to assume rejection after 6 months. I've found most UK mags reply reasonably quickly.

Anonymous said...

Some other writers and myself are finding Jill at The Weekly News takes 6-9 months now to respond. While that in itself isn't a problem (i know Jill is very busy and doesn't have many hours for fiction), it would be nice to know how far in advance to sub seasonal stories, now, so that they are read in time. It used to be 3 months. 6months? 9?

Sam

Anonymous said...

Also, i wouldn't mind hearing other writers' experiences of TABFF, when their story goes to a second reading. I nudge after 3 months (as Norah says to, in the guidelines on here) and then wait a month or so to hear and both times this has happened, I've found out the stories were rejected, but for some reason i've just never been sent a formal rejection!! is it just me??!!

Perhaps, despite the guidelines, i shouldn't nudge until six months, in future, (If i'm lucky enough to have them keep one that long.)

??

Cheers.

Sam

Perhaps

Rosalie Squires said...

I've only recently returned to writing for magazines after a long break. It is just coming up to three months on the earliest I'm waiting on.
I recently came across someone saying they'd been contacted by an editor wanting to know where to send payment for an article they'd submitted several years ago and forgotten all about.

TracyFells said...

I've found TABFiction Feast consistently respond within 4-6 weeks, whether positive or rejection. Previously found People's Friend rapid responders (once within 48 hours!) for rejections. Recently sent a story to PF and now over 5 weeks without a response - perhaps this is a good sign?? Jill at The Weekly News always responds, but lately has been taking >3months and so far always a No thanks for my efforts.

Anonymous said...

TL Fast Fiction seem to respond within about 3 months with acceptances, but as they specifically say wait 6 months, that is pretty clear.
Gail, Woman's Day are no longer accepting fiction as far as I am aware.
You SA have never replied one way or the other to me, but I have heard of acceptances as long as 2 years after submission. They have also been known to publish without advising the writer. They have not responded to chases or queries about how long to wait.
Jill at Weekly News seems to be about 6 months at the moment. I have several times had no response to subs or to queries and have also had stories published that I didn't know about till someone else spotted them.
TaB and Woman's Weekly remain pretty consistent at up to 4 months each, but usually more like 2-3.

The worry is the combination of potentially long response times and publication without prior advice, which seems like a recipe for disaster if a mag does this with a story that has been sold elsewhere, on the assumption that the first mag didn't want it. That would then, of course, be the writer's fault.

Anonymous said...

Norah at TABFF does say to nudge after 12 weeks, i think - but, seeing as it is a monthly mag, perhaps i should wait 4-6 months in future. I know how busy editors are and don't want to hassle them.

Hmm, i wonder if Jill has caught up a bit at TWN and it is 6 months now. I'm sure that at around June time, people were hearing back about oct/nov subs. Perhaps last Christmas delayed things a little.

Yes, Tracy, i find PF rapid for rejecs, occasionally rapid for an acceptance, but usually 2-3 months for an acceptance.

The waiting is hard but a lot easier if you know what to expect!

I find WW almost always 3 months.

Sam

Alana Duffy said...

I, too, have found that any reply (whether an acceptance or rejection) from Jill of The Weekly News has stretched to 6-9 months.

I enjoy writing for The Weekly News and I appreciate just how busy Jill is, but I wonder how far in advance we should send seasonal stories. I also i wonder if the 6-9 month waiting time for a response decrease with time.

Alana

Anonymous said...

Great to have you back Womag - really pleased you had a fab time. I'm really glad you have posted this query because it's one I'd like an answer to as well. I have waited over a year for a response on a couple of stories one an acceptance the others rejections. At present I have some out there that have been with a magazine for a year I have emailed the editor but with no response. From what you're saying here I think that means I can submit elsewhere. Am I right? Overall though I wait between two to five months. Good wishes KH

Anonymous said...

Just to confirm: Woman's Day in Australia haven't been taking fiction for over a year now. The only fiction they have every week is their long running serial.

Colette McCormick said...

Your holiday sounds wonderful. I'm working on "finding the love" of writing again at the minute so am doing it with pleasure rather than submission in mind but the comments you've received so far have been very helpful.

Suzanne Jones said...

Lovely to have you back - your holiday sounds terrific.

Like some of the others, I haven't noticed any difference in waiting times.

xx

Lucy said...

Thanks everyone......this has been a very useful post for me, as a new writer.
I submitted my first manuscript to WW 2 months ago, approximately. I wondered how long I would have to wait before getting my first rejection....hahaha!
Your holiday sounds delightful! Glad to have you back!

blogaboutwriting said...

I'm 'allowed' to email my stories to Woman's Weekly, (once you've had a story accepted by them, you can do this), so in theory it should make things quicker. It used to be quicker - about 2 weeks was a normal turnaround time - but now it is about 2 months. PF is about the same - TAB usually longer. I know we're all reluctant to criticise the mags and their editors, but I find such a long wait dispiriting (especially when, all too often, it's a rejection anyway!!). I suppose there's nothing we can do, if we want to take our chances with the womags, it has to be on their terms. But it is frustrating!! At least when you enter a short story competition, you usually get some idea of when the results will be out.

womagwriter said...

Thanks all. Sounds like most magazines are still around the 4 month mark then, but The Weekly News has had a bit of a blip and is taking longer. Hopefully they'll get back on top of things soon as well.

Thanks for the info re Woman's Day. I will add a post re this and will remove their guidelines from the list. Another market gone, then.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for running this post, womagwriter - it's interesting to find out everyone else's wait times and knowing what to expect. Makes me realize i'm not the only one waiting:)

Sam

Carolb said...

I'm interested in this issue so thanks for running it.
I've got a story out with Woman's Weekly and from the date on my conformation postcard, I'm at three and a half months, so I'm hoping it's a good sign and not just answer times have got longer.
P[revious rejections have been at about two months.

Anonymous said...

I agree with blogaboutwriting - very reluctant to criticise but 3 / 4 month turn around from WW for story, which is rejected in any case, is v frustrating! On the bright side, I think we can assume stories taking that long to be rejected have got fairly close, and may be successful elsewhere, because (in my experience) instant no-no's can come back within a fortnight :-)

Captain Black said...

I'm curious to know if these magazines provide responses (e.g. "thanks for you submission, we are considering it...") in addition to results (acceptance or rejection of stories). Do any of them give an initial response or is it just silence until the result?

Geraldine Ryan said...

No, you won't get a response, Captain Black. Editors really don't have time to do that as well as read all the submissions.

Wendy's Writing said...

I only have limited experience (as I only started writing for magazines in March)but I had a story accepted by FF after a wait of 7 weeks and one accepted by PF today after just under 4 months. PF reject very quickly (as little as a week sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Hi I'd like to add to Anonymous (15 September comment) on TABFF second reads. I, too, have had this problem with Norah. A story I subbed in January went for a second read in May but when I queried again in August it apparently had been rejected but I've never had it returned.
I've also got a couple of others that have been with her ages but still no response or rejection.
I'm a regular contributor to TABFF with quite a few sales and this is frustrating as I write full-time. If the stories aren't going to sell there I can re-jig and sell on but only if I know they're definite R's.
Frustrating but they have the upper hand on this.
Another thread that might open a can of worms is payments - I accidentally stumbled on some very alarming differences in fees for writers of these mags ...

Carolb said...

Captain Black, I sent a stamped addressed postcard with my story title on it, with my manuscript. WW put the date it was received by them, so I know it's in the system- somewhere- and not gone astray in the post.

Anonymous said...

may I claim a prize? I had an article accepted by 'Your Cat' may 2011. Payment on publication, of course. Queried after 1 year, told they had a backlog. Shall I try may 2013?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 18/9 - that's interesting, that you have the same problem as me at FF. It is so frustrating, isn't it? The guidelines say to nudge after 12 weeks but then it's a real job finding out what's happened to a story that's gone on to a second read. I don't like to keep bothering Norah.

Sorry you are going through this too, but it's relief to find it's not just my stories - i was getting paranoid!

Sam

Kath said...

Captain Black - some mags do acknowledge stories. Jill at TWN does and generally Fast Fiction does. Also if you email stories to WW (ie if you've had a story accepted there before) then Clare always acknowledges. Can't remember about the others, but I thought maybe My Weekly also acknowledged? Could be wrong there.

Pat Posner said...

Yes, Liz at MW always acknowledges.

Geraldine Ryan said...

Sorry, Captain Black. yes, the others are right. If you submit by email then yes, you will get an acknowledgment, but generally only if you'e had stories accepted by the mag previously. And if you send by snail mail you won't. You could try the stamped addressed postcard idea - it would be no trouble for them to reply but I would still wonder if they would or not.

Carolb said...

Geraldine, whenever I've sent one with my manuscript to WW, it has always been sent back with a confirmation of receipt.

Captain Black said...

I'm no expert on this subject, having submitted very little of my own work, and never to the womag market. However, I have to say that I'm less than impressed with all this. Do these cumbersome procedures seem in any way professional to anyone? The "too busy" excuse is, in my opinion, just that; though point taken about the courtesy of supplying SAEs for snail-mail responses.

Surely there must be a better way.

Laura Marcus said...

CaptainBlack they receive hundreds of submissions a week and most will be rejected. They don't have time to ack or give feedback. No one pays them to do this. Brutal but magazine publishing is a commercial enterprise.

Far more people going after these slots than there are slots available.

Even though I'm a professional writer - journalist though have just sold my first story to TABFF - I quite like this system. It's democratic and open.

Anyone can have a go and we all get treated the same, initially at least. That seems the only fair way to deal with unsolicited mss.

Re waiting, I've never waited more than 4 months. No idea if stuff's ever gone for a second read. Never been told. My first and so far only acceptance took just under 4 months.

Anonymous said...

Laura Marcus - Just sending a 'Well Done' on your TABFF Acceptance, great news, I've yet to crack that particular market myself despite having sent over thirty submissions. Good wishes