Has anyone else had problems regarding submissions to "Spinetingler?"

Within the past 14 months, I've submitted a couple of short stories to Spinetingler with the requested release forms.  I've followed them up with multiple e-mails inquiring as to their status.  I either received no response or got an  "Automated Response" that had nothing to do with author submission status.     

Also...what is the story on their "Release Form" required with submission and before an acceptance or rejection?  Didn't like it to begin with, but now with this experience, it appears a writer has signed away 1st North American Rights indefinitely, even if you've never received a response.

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Boy have we had problems. Serious problems of all kind, Jed. Mostly, our two volunteer families both had  illnesses involving hospitalization and rehabilitation. But we're trying to get back on track, as I noted in the following comment after Monday's fiction offering -- our first "long" fiction in a year.

"Stephen (Ross)’s is the first of many full-length short stories Spinetingler will be publishing this year. Thanks to our writers and readers for their patience. If you submitted long fiction last year and haven’t heard back, please resend or contact us at spinetinglermag@gmail.com. We think the Unread File is caught up through December 31, 2012."

We were wrong, for sure. I found your longer story in a strange file. I am so sorry, Jed. I did it myself about a year ago. The flash fiction is handled by someone else and is on temporary hold.

Spinetingler has required the release form since we were almost sued by another publication, the writer having lied to us about previous publication. What we ask for is the writer's written word it's his and not running somewhere else, and we ask for one year's rights, that's all. One year before you can resell or republish yourself. And our "rights" don't apply unless we actually publish your work.

All that said, and while I believe Spinetingler's submission decisions will soon be cut down to 60 days, I can certainly understand if you chose to offer your work somewhere else in the future. 

All right, Jack.  I just wondered what happened.

Thank you for your response.



I'll have to say that AHMM releases a story back to the authors once the issue is off the store shelves: about 2 months after release.  I published "Confessions" last August, and by November I could self-publish it for Kindle. I thought they were really great about this.

That's the great thing about short fiction and traditional publishers. I received my rights back from a story I had in the MWA anthology THE RICH AND THE DEAD after one year, also. Good luck wrangling the beast, Jack.

I. J. & David,

Do AHMM & the MWA Anthology require a release form with story submission and before acceptance, mandating granting of First World Wide Rights for a period of 15 months beginning when and if story is published?   If not what do you think of that practice?

I don't know about AHMM, but the MWA anthology is published annual by different publishers. The year I was in, the contract asked for first publishing rights, in print, audio, and electronically (but only as part of the anthology--they could not publish just my story separately, for example) exclusive for one year from the time of publication. So what you're describing is not unusual, thought 15-months for a short story seems like a long time to hold the rights. My experience has been annual anthologies ask for one year, (exclusivity until the next one comes out, which makes sense) magazines ask for less.

In the old days, publishers asked for first English or first North American rights, something like that, but in today's e-publishing term first world rights is becoming the standard simply because you can't restrict the sellers (Amazon, BN.com, Kobo) to just North America or even English speaking countries. They sell all over the world.

What you describe sounds fine, if a little long. Don't know who you are dealing with, but maybe that's a point you can negotiate. Also make sure you don't give away foreign language rights as part of the worldwide right. Just first English. Good luck.

No release form for MWA that I recall. I wrote the editor after the magazine had gone off sale and asked if I could publish electronically, and she said yes.  It's reasonable, since they weren't getting any more sales at that point and my story was out of print..

Make that AHMM instead of MWA. And no, I didn't have a release form. My feeling is that things have been changing so rapidly with electronic publishing and the fact that titles need to go up quickly so as not to lose sales that many print publishers haven't geared up for this. Now, when all the print magazines also go electronic and stay up forever, we may have a problem. The anthologies should have some provision to release rights. Theoretically, rights revert when books go out of print, but publishers are very slow about this. 

I have a story in the Shamus Awards anthology, but those aren't first rights and so there is no conflict.

I.J. & David,

I must not be expressing myself clearly.  My question was--what do you think of requiring release form WITH submission and BEFORE acceptance? 

I don't see that happening. As I said, print editions don't release rights until the books are out of print.

I've never encountered that, except for maybe a contest. My best advice is to review the contract--if it has no termination date, no right reversion, I'd walk away.

Here's what our release looks like. It does say 15 months, not a year. It also explains why. I've received hundreds of submissions since the first of the year, all of them with this filled out and attached.

I, Insert AUTHOR NAME here, certify that I am the writer/artist of the work being submitted to Spinetingler Magazine. This story, insert STORY NAME here, has not been published previously online or in print and has never been printed in whole or in part on a blog, website or forum or any other medium. I also agree that Spinetingler Magazine may archive work after initial publication. I further agree that Spinetingler may consider my work for print/electronic publication in a best of” anthology at some point. I retain copyright and all rights to my work except First WORLDWIDE Rights. My work may not appear in another publication for 15 months following its release in Spinetingler Magazine without written consent from the editor in order for it to be considered for the anthology. If my work should appear in another publication after that time has elapsed, it will be noted that it first appeared in Spinetingler Magazine, at www.spinetinglermag.com

I understand that if my work does appear elsewhere before the time has elapsed without written consent, my work may be removed from the anthology with no royalties being paid for any copies sold that contained my work.


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