So I’ve been in the writing business for almost 10 years now. I’ve used Submittable hundreds of times and had been avidly corresponding with agents and publishers through my gmail account.
But over the past 2-3 years Submittable has become glitchy.
In 2019 I sent in a few nonfiction science proposals for a major kid’s magazine. When contacting them after a year of waiting (and clearly not being accepted because the issues I aimed for got published sans my work), I just let it go. Around the same time I had been in contact with an agent on there. She and I were friendly on Twitter, so when it glitched out she emailed me personally. It didn’t go anywhere because timing can be hell and covid hit and health problems abounded.
In 2019 my gmail started glitching as well. It’s making me super paranoid to look at the timeline because I did not receive quite a few major emails and it took weeks to finally figure out what happened and clear up the messes started by this error. Since then I’ve moved over to protonmail and had no issues, but when revising old work I sometimes forget to switch out the emails and so end up with gmail messages that may or may not actually come to my inbox whether or not they say they were delivered on the other end.
I’m no computer genius, but this really makes me wonder what is going on. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but a very personal pet project of mine has recently been halted because of this.
A lot of publishers (and even agents now) only accept submissions via submittable. I’ve accepted this and tried to be diligent. When I found a place I thought was a good fit for this pet project I grit my teeth and sent my sample through the glitchy system. Within a month I happily received a full manuscript request and was ecstatic.
I don’t like to waste time, so I sent in the entire book right away… via submittable (as instructed).
All throughout the holidays I was hoping an editor at this nice publishing company was cozying up with my heartfelt stories about animals, when in actuality they had never even received the document.
Okay, 1 glitch isn’t the end of the world.
They emailed me on the last Monday in Jan to get the proper manuscript and I never received that. The deadline was for Jan 31, and of course, since I missed it, I received a rejection last week.
I was confused because:
- I had sent out the work on submittable
- It came through my gmail account instead of protonmail
Apparently I must have forgotten to switch the email address on my revised document, and that’s on me, but damn. How many glitches can perfectly align to make a rejection? I’m sure this happens all the time. It’s part of the “luck” we authors often talk about, but damn, when we’re down on our “luck” is it down or what?
I emailed a screenshot of the submitted manuscript to the publisher, so they know I did turn in my work and very much on time, and I sent in the manuscript in case they’re still interested with an explanation and such.
I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it makes me question the validity of utilizing a system like Submittable. I switched my email accounts because gmail continuously would say it delivered emails but then I would get frustrated queries asking why I hadn’t sent anything it. Screenshots of my sent mail have been incredibly helpful in that regard, but I cannot simply ask a multitude of agents, publishers, and publications to let me submit my work via email if their standard protocol is to only use the Submittable site.
I’m exhausted just typing about it. I can’t imagine how annoying it must be on the other end. That’s why I usually just withdraw my work in these odd instances. But this time is different.
Whether my work is accepted or not won’t fix the issue. I’ve contacted Submittable to see what they can do, but I’m not going to hold my breath. They handle a LOT of material. So I doubt one little writer is a big deal to them.
That’s why I’m posting this today. If any of you writers out there have experienced this too, please let me know and also contact Submittable so they can fix whatever is going wrong.
As for gmail, I’ve happily moved on.