typos, email addresses, and I've lost my chill, help
October 17, 2020 12:31 PM   Subscribe

I submitted a piece of writing to a literary journal's writing competition and I received an honorable mention! AND they want to publish it in their 2021 spring edition. But a stupid complication has arisen and I'm getting anxious. Could use some advice from anyone who's been published before.

So, I submitted my piece to the journal through Submittable a few months ago and got a response through Submittable on Thursday night that I got an Honorable Mention and they want to publish me, and so if the writing was still available (i.e. it hadn't been accepted anywhere else) to please let them know and they'd send me a publishing contract.

It IS still available, so I messaged them back saying thank you, yes, it's still available and I'd be honored to be published in their journal.

On Friday, I noticed that when I originally submitted the writing to this journal, I made a major typo in my email address, so if they tried to send me a publishing contract, it would end up with the wrong person or bounce back.

So I sent another message to the journal via Submittable explaining the email they had on file for me was incorrect because I made a typo and letting them know what my actual email address is.

Is this sufficient? I'm worried they tried to send me a contract on Friday, got a bounce back, and now are going to give up. This is totally the result of catastrophic thinking by someone with anxiety issues, I get that. But, I have never been published before - at least not in a way that would require a contract (I am a staff writer for a local arts pub but we don't take submissions from outside writers and don't use Submittable), so I have no idea how this goes.

Is the message I sent them via Submittable clarifying my email address sufficient, or should I try to contact the journal directly? How stupid does it make me look that I can't even spell my own email address correctly when submitting work for publication? How long does it take to generate a publication contract for a literary journal? Do I need to be more proactive here since the email typo was my mistake?

Or should I just take a fucking chill pill, crack open a beer, and not worry?

(are all writers as anxious as me?)
posted by nayantara to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
This would likely get me on the phone, as in: trying to call an actual person just to make sure everything is fine. Then crack open a beer.
posted by Namlit at 12:37 PM on October 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Hey, congratulations! And don't worry. I've both been published and worked at literary magazines before, and your worst-case scenario isn't going to happen. Here's how I know: nothing happens that fast at a literary magazine. Think about it: it took them months to respond to your submission, and it's going to take them until Spring 2021 to publish your story...but you think they're going to work up a contract, send it to you, see it bounce back, talk among themselves, decide to give up on you, read more submissions, and select a new Honorable Mention winner...all in 24 hours? Ha, no. They probably haven't even read your first message yet.

I do think it's worth finding a new way to contact them, other than Submittable - if there's an email for the managing editor on the masthead, you could drop a note and reach out. But truly, you have nothing to worry about! Sit back and enjoy the success.
posted by Merricat Blackwood at 12:48 PM on October 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Since they successfully contacted you via Submittable, they are able to get ahold of you if they send the contract to the wrong place and it bounces back at them. You worst fear is very unlikely to come true—journals are neither that fast or that lazy to have read through a bunch of manuscripts and then immediately give up on one that they were planning to publish.

Also, I am a writer, and being super anxious is indeed very normal.
posted by pie_seven at 12:52 PM on October 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm not a published writer, just someone who did a brief stint in publishing:

This kind of thing happens all the time (the typo in the email address) and although someone might roll their eyes a bit over it, the fact that they do have a means of reaching you AND a desire to reach you means that it is unlikely they are going to just give up that easily. I totally agree that probably no one has even read your first message yet, much less your follow-up.

If it helps set your mind at ease, if you haven't heard anything within a few business days then you could follow up -- more directly, if possible.
posted by sm1tten at 1:59 PM on October 17, 2020

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