B. Miller one of the writers in my writers' group wrote a great blog on submitting by mail. She's been submitting many of her great horror short stories lately, but has only submitted by mail a few times in the past and once recently. She offers many insights into that now, mostly outdated method, and how the ritual, while expensive and time consuming, does make you feel more viscerally involved with the cycle.
However, I'm going to discuss the latest submission angle: the online forms many presses are now using. While I find them to be time consuming, I can see why a magazine which receives hundred of submissions a month, uses them to help track manuscripts. However, I'm not sure I like the feeling of sending subs out and having no record that the stories made it. Sure, many mags send an automatic response within a few days, but some don't. I feel some manuscripts get lost in the ether or either the response ends up blocked because its considered spam. Recently, I've had more than a few subs never receive a response, some of these from big magazines.
Are any of writers out there having the same problem?
I've taken off all my spam filters but still don't know if it's on my end of theirs. And while I keep records of all my subs on Duotrope, I also liked the back up system of checking sent emails for exact dates and even content.
As writers, we're constantly having to adapt to the markets, and many of the advances in online submission make our lives easier, but there are times when it feels less like we talk to an editorial board and more like we only communicate with computers. It's a dilemma with no easy answer and as an editor, I'm thrilled that so many people are writing - and writing good works, but I would hate to see the personal connection lost, at least from time to time. Already, writers work and live in a void. Unlike artists and musicians, we don't have the chance to see our audience's response. I'd hate to see one more connection for writers to work with human beings fade away.