What We Talk About When We Talk About “Submission Management”

07/10/2010

When we say that Submishmash is a submission management system, we mean “management” in the broadest sense possible. We understand that an enormous stack of submissions presents challenges far beyond the moment of receipt. As an editor, you most likely spend a great deal of time on administrative tasks that begin only after you have received submissions.

You may, for example, farm out your reading duties to a number of other editors. Once you’ve done that, the quality of your magazine and your relationship with the writers who have trusted you with their work depends on your conscientious and organized interaction with those other editors about their reading. You can’t afford to misplace or neglect a single submission. Once a submission clears the hurdle of a first reading and is in contention for publication, you may need to reassign it to one or more other editors for further evaluation. In the meantime, you may need to communicate with the writer to make sure the story or poem hasn’t been accepted elsewhere. If you accept the submission for publication, you’ll likely go through further back-and-forth among your staff. Which issue should we use it for? Has the writer agreed to consider our edits? You’ll certainly need to communicate further with the writer as you edit and approach publication. At every stage of this process, multiple individual emails among all concerned parties are often necessary, each of which may require attaching a version of the story or poem—or sizable batches of stories or poems—along with whatever editorial notes have accumulated along the way.

Submishmash aims to help you, as editors, manage every aspect of your interaction with submissions. All of the above stages of the editorial process are centralized in our system, so that you and your staff can simply log in separately, understand what the status of a given submission is, and view that submission along with any notes that have been made. You can batch submissions so that any number of them are accessible only to certain readers. You can label a submission according to issue number or type or any other category that serves your purposes, comment on or make changes to a submission, and make additional assignments to other staff members. You can communicate with the writer and with your staff any number of times without ever opening a new application, attaching any files, or chasing down the latest copy of the text.

Our system’s functionality is, in this way, truly game-changing for editors. We make it possible for you to create efficiencies in your operating procedures that have literally never been available to publishers. And we make these features available to publishers irrespective of their size or financial resources. Even if your magazine or press is a labor of love, no doubt you love some parts of that labor more than others. Submishmash aims to save you time, effort, and money so that you can devote your resources to the more meaningful aspects of your job.

Michael FitzGerald

Michael lives in Missoula, MT, with his wife and two sons. He’s the CEO and one of the founders of Submittable and the author of the novel Radiant Days.