Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hidden Guidelines: TM Magazine

For some of you, you've probably seen and even submitted to TM Magazine, and as far as I can tell, they seem to be a nice zine. However, I received an interesting response to a query I made, that sheds some unmentionables in their guidelines.

Thank you for your follow-up on your story. --snip-- For us to consider publishing your story, we would have to remove the sexual references and swear words from the story. Are these changes you would be willing to make? We enjoyed the comic tone of the piece, but it would have to be cleaned up to meet our vision of clean content. Please let us know if you would be willing to make these types of changes to your story.

This response is actually a bit old since the story was eventually rejected--by an entirely different editor than who I had submitted to. But that's okay, because I really didn't want to remove all the swears and sexual references (which were part of the humor).

But that does lead to a problem, because no where does it say in their guidelines that they do not publish fiction containing swear words and sexual references. What they do say is:

TM Publishing does not print, publish, or otherwise distribute graphic descriptions of sex or violence. Please do not submit works with graphic content.

In my book, cussing and sexual references do not fall under "graphic content"--and I would bet that's the same for many others. And it seems wrong not to include that in your guidelines. If it's too much to add in your guidelines, just say you're a PG or kid friendly magazine, like Buzzy Magazine and Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, then writers will take the hint (assuming they read guidelines in the first place) and will choose more wisely what to submit. 'Cause yeah, I wasted a lot of time submitting a story that was unsuitable for this market, and likewise, they wasted time reading it. Although I'm sure they were downtrodden that they couldn't publish it. :)

So now you know, and the more the know, the less time you waste--time which of course will be reallocated to LOLCats and Youtube.

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