I receive a good number of submissions each month for Kid's Imagination Train. Not long ago, two writers emailed me to inquire if I had received their stories. Both of them wrote that they were having trouble with their emails. Okay, perhaps that’s true. But the cynic in me was asking: Were these emails a handy excuse to check on their submissions?
There are some unwritten rules about emailing editors. One rule is that writers should not email an editor until after the stated turnaround time. Turnaround time can usually be found under writer’s guidelines. For KIT, the turnaround time is about six weeks; but for other publications, it may be closer to two to three months. Checking on work a couple of weeks after submitting is unnecessary. In fact, it can make writers appear unprofessional.
Some novice writers get nervous about submitting. They feel that their work might get lost in cyber-space. Yet, that rarely happens when the correct submission address is used. My word to these anxious writers would be: relax. Not many editors send email confirmations upon the receipt of a submission. Instead of worrying about the submission, writers should move on to other projects. Then, if the turnaround time has been reached with no word from the editor, you have the green light to inquire about your work.