Imagine going to a job interview, and the interviewer saying:
"Don't apply anywhere else because we may want you 1-6 months down the road."
Or going out on a first date and saying:
"Don't date anyone else because I may end up liking you after all."
Crazy, right? And yet, it's perfectly acceptable for publications to say this, by way of simultaneous submissions. I've been thinking about this lately, because I really want to make a simultaneous submission that's "not allowed".
I've been trying to decide whether or not to send the submission I'd sent to the Christian Science Monitor about 1 1/2 weeks ago to Skirt! magazine. Normally I'd have sent the piece to Skirt first, because their deadline for the themed essay I wrote is July 1. But I really want to get into the CSM, & this essay seemed perfect. Plus the CSM doesn't accept previously published material. So if it had been published by Skirt, I could never again submit it to the CSM.
So far my experience has been: if someone wants my piece, I hear back quickly. However...
Is possible my week-old email is still sitting in someone's inbox, unopened and unread? I don't think so. But then again, what if by some weird cosmic coincidence Skirt accepted and then the CSM contacted me in the next two weeks and also wanted the article? Again, very unlikely (I could only dream that those 2 publications would both want my piece!...which is another reason to make a simul. submission) But on the very off chance that it happened, I'd have to confess to breaking the simultaneous submission rule. Would that turn the CSM off to accepting future articles from me?
Well, there's still another week left until I need to make a decision. I just wish these publications would give some leeway on the simultaneous submissions front. In the meantime, I'll wait...