Over the last two weeks, I’ve had to send out seven rejection letters to authors interested in seeing their short fiction published in Nuketown. The reason for the rejections? They were submitted via snail mail.
Nuketown does not accept fiction or non-fiction submissions sent via postal mail. We do, however, accept review copies sent via snail mail.
Our stance on fiction and non-fiction submissions has nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, or the subsequent anthrax scares — we have never accepted snail mail and probably never will.
It’s all about time and logistics. Nuketown is a 100% volunteer effort, and our staff is scattered around the country — our fiction editor lives on the West Coast, our assistant fiction editor resides in Florida, and the home office is in Easton. This means that 99% of our editing work — and 99% of our conversations — occur online.
Because we are a volunteer outfit — dedicated to the site, but always scraping for more time — we have to make the best use possible of the time we have. Forwarding hard copies of stories to each other via snail mail, or scanning such copies into digital form to be read online, would take up time that we don’t have — time that could be better spent reading submissions, writing new stories, or improving the site.
Near as I can figure, the reason for the sudden spike in submissions is our entry in the current edition of the Writer’s Market, which is a little ambiguous about what kind of submissions we accept. Our own guidelines didn’t explicitly say that you couldn’t send a submission via snail mail, although it was implied. Since many publications balk at e-mail submissions, folks are airing on the side of caution, and sending us their stories via snail mail.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a policy I can afford to change. I’ve updated the guidelines to state explicitly that we don’t accept snail mail, and I’ll be continue to reject any and all non-e-mail submissions (although I’m letting folks know what the deal is if they include an SASE, and sometimes even if they don’t).