As I read the last batch of May submissions for Toasted Cheese, I was moved to tweet about what I was reading:

PLEASE grammar-/spell-check what you submit for publication. No matter how good it is, at a certain point I say “enough” w/errors #amediting

Another tip for #submissions: don’t use unreadable/small font in the body of your submission. We read on mobile devices ya know. #amediting

Given the volume of #submissions that @toasted_cheese receives, we can’t give feedback. We do have free forums for fb. #amwriting #amediting

Please don’t quote “Aladdin” in your fiction like it’s original. Esp when it’s a good story & you don’t need to do it.¬†#amwriting #amediting

We also had a writer ask us not to notify her if the submission was rejected. That’s not our policy. You will always be notified about the status of your submission. I tweeted about that one when I saw it and linked to our piece about writing fears.

Except for the last one, these are things I see very commonly in submissions (several each month). As for the last one, I’ve caught people lifting from films, books, history, you name it. It only really bugs me when the story is strong and doesn’t need the crutch. For the record, the piece that used the Aladdin line (with one noun switch), made my shortlist. I wonder if the writer even realizes it happened.

I had a really high percentage of submissions make my first cut (just over 40%) and there’s usually a second cut before the month’s notification letters are sent out (once Theryn and I confer on our picks). Because we have a new issue this month, we’ll send notifications for the previous month’s submissions¬†ASAP, which may be a little later to your inbox than we like. But we’re working on it very hard.

Damn, that’s a line from Amadeus.


Toasted Cheese hasn’t given me a second to breathe in 2015. We had about 75 entries for Dead of Winter and I read each one, reread about 20, reread about 6, then ranked those few. I didn’t even get to touch the January shortlist but I did do my share of shortlisting December submissions. I also reread the shortlist for our 2015.1 issue (coming in March). I haven’t done an editor’s pick yet but I usually have one. Once the dust settled on DOW, I got back on track with the Pen In Each Hand (PIEH) Podcast even though my mic isn’t USB 2.0 compatible. It didn’t want to cooperate today so I wrote the scripts for some podcasts instead. Then I worked on our 2015.1 SnarkZone. Next will be catching up on February submissions. I may be able to take a breath on the 27th.

Editoring is hard.