Peter Coleborn discusses some issues regarding submission guidelines:
In my previous post I discussed appearances: they do matter, no matter how good the story or the writing. This time I want to mention a closely linked topic: submission guidelines. Almost all publishers – books or magazines – have a website on which they post their guidelines. And it really does behove you to read these before submitting anything.
For example, you come across a market that is after supernatural stories for a forthcoming ghost story anthology. The guidelines state that they want tales in the mould of M.R. James and the ilk. If you are not familiar with James a little research will tell you this will include all manner of Victorian-style ghost fiction – not contemporary supernatural yarns. For another project editors may state that they do not want any stories of vampires, werewolves and/or zombies, so common sense should tell you that you will be wasting valuable time submitting anything in that vein. At the best it will be rejected unread and at worse, you may gain a black mark against your name when it comes to future submissions.
To read the full essay pop over to the Penkhull Press website.