We at Split Lip are in the business of being transparent. We want you to know what to expect when you choose to submit to us, to understand what we're looking for, and to feel good about the process. In the spirit of being open books, we held a Twitter chat with editor-in-chief Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice (and her two bowls of dinner -- bowl 1: pork tenderloin, sweet potato, broccoli; bowl 2: salad, honey mustard dressing). If you missed it (or if you just want a recap), here's what Kaitlyn had to say:
What are the most common mistakes you see in submissions?
Not double-spacing. Submitting to more than one genre at a time (we only allow one at a time). Submitting immediately after a rejection.
What do you guys do with all that money from tip jar/expedited subs?
A favorite topic here at SL HQ! We recently upgraded our Submittable account to accommodate more free subs (yay) at a cost of $72/month. Submittable takes a percentage of every sub. E.g., a $5 expedited sub leaves us with $3.76. We save all money in a bank account for paying writers and AWP.
Would you consider a Venmo account so that writers can tip you without you taking a hit?
Yes! We're in the process of re-designing our web site and we plan to have a button for donations.
Do you get annoyed when a writer subs after being rejected, even if they wait 60 days or so? Asking for a friend...
Good one! 60 days is a decent amount of time to wait. 30 is too soon, even though we say wait one month. Sometimes our editors will explicitly ask for submissions sooner. In that case, submit away!
Should a submission have a heading/the author's info, or is just a title enough since Submittable has all relevant info attached?
I'm old school so I always put info in the top corner (unless a mag requests something different). But either way works for us.
Are there any trends you're seeing in submissions these days? Trends to emulate? To avoid?
Explicitly political stories are hard to pull off. It's not that it's "too soon," it's just ...let the idea germinate! Related: Don't send us your first or second draft. Proofreading is not the same thing as revising. We can tell.
What kind of edits do you make on the work Split Lip publishes?
All kinds. We edit almost everything we accept! Sometimes this comes as a surprise to writers. Sometimes the edits are small (line edits etc.). Often we work with writers on a title change (this is a frequent request). Occasionally we work with writers on substantial revisions over several months.
Lets say someone's been rejected a dozen or so times by SL. Should they 1) try elsewhere 2) write differently 3) keep trying buddy!
Always keep trying! But seriously, it took even the Famous Writer dozens of times to be accepted by certain mags. A rejection doesn't mean you aren't talented, just means it wasn't right right now.
What's the process like before you accept a piece at Split Lip?
A reader will mark a piece yes or maybe. We'll transfer the piece to the genre editor. If they like the piece, I'll read it. If I agree, we'll discuss, hashing out any needed edits, considering how it will fit with other accepted work. Sometimes, if we know the writer, we'll have another editor read the piece blind. We're committed to a fair editorial process.
As a writer AND editor, what are your thoughts on the whole "aim for 100 rejections" principle?
It's bullshit. Don't do it. Aim for acceptances. Spend more time than you think is necessary on your work. Be so good they can't ignore you.
What's your ultimate Split Lip wish list?!
Submissions: Attention to voice. Settings beyond the dorm room or classroom. HUMOR. Attention to language. Unique form.
Other: Ability to pay all our contributors.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for the chat! And if you ever have a question about anything Split Lip, don't hesitate to ask. We're here for you.