Skip to main content

What Are Simultaneous Submissions in Writing and Publishing?

Learn what simultaneous submissions in writing and publishing are from editor Robert Lee Brewer, including when writers should make them (if ever) and why they should care.

Any writer who has read more than a handful of submission guidelines has probably run across the term simultaneous submissions. Some agents and publishers tell writers they do not accept simultaneous submissions while others say it's OK.

(How to Write Successful Queries for Any Genre of Writing.)

But what are they? And why should a writer care? We dive into that and more here.

What Are Simultaneous Submissions in Writing and Publishing?

What Are Simultaneous Submissions?

Simultaneous submissions are submissions that are made simultaneously to more than one agency or publisher. For instance, you may have a query letter for a novel and want to pitch more than one agent at the same time. Once you query multiple agents without receiving a response yet, you're simultaneously submitting.

(What are multiple submissions?)

Many writers do this to save time on receiving a response. After all, if you query 10 agents one at a time, and they all take one month to respond to you, it would take 10 months to hear back from everyone. If you query the same 10 agents simultaneously (and they all take one month to respond), it would take one month to hear back from everyone. Nice, right?

*****

Pitch an Article

In today's competitive marketplace, it's important to catch an editor's attention. It all starts with a pitch. No matter what kind of article you want to write, a good pitch letter will get you noticed by an assigning editor. This intensive two-week course will teach you how to craft a good pitch letter and do it well.

Click to continue.

****

Should Writers Send Simultaneous Submissions?

The natural answer to this question from the writer's perspective would be "yes" in most cases. But read the guidelines for the agent or publisher before submitting, because some of them specifically state they do not consider simultaneous submissions. 

(20 literary agents actively seeking writers and their writing.)

They may have been burned by the practice in the past, or they may just want to have an exclusive look at the material. Whatever the reason, respect those submission guidelines. If you'd rather simultaneously submit, send those out to the agents and publishers that allow them first. Then, submit to the more selective places next. Or flip it the other way and submit to the exclusive place first before simultaneously submitting.

Agents and editors put great care into crafting their submission guidelines and a sure way to find a rejection or burn a bridge is to ignore or disregard them.

If You Do Simultaneous Submissions...

Even when agents and editors accept simultaneous submissions, there are some good ways for writers to handle the process. Here are a couple tips:

  1. Keep records of your submissions. I usually have a spreadsheet of some sort that lists what I submitted (story, poems, query, etc.), where I submitted it, when I submitted, whether it was accepted or rejected, and a place for other notes.
  2. Contact agents and editors if your submission is accepted elsewhere. There are few things an agent or editor dislikes more than considering a submission, deciding to accept it, and then learn it's already been accepted elsewhere. So let agents and editors know as soon as it's accepted that it's "been accepted elsewhere." 

Simultaneous submissions can save time for writers and lead to better submission results. Just be sure to follow those submission guidelines.

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

From having reverence for the original to making it your own, author Nikki Payne shares four tips for writing a modern retelling.

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use faint vs. feint in your writing with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples. Plus, we answer whether it's "faint of heart" or "feint of heart."

6 Books to Cozy Up With This Winter | Book Recommendations

6 Books to Cozy Up With This Winter

Here are 6 book recommendation perfect for winter reading.

12 Things to Consider When Writing Fight Scenes in Fiction (FightWrite™)

12 Things to Consider When Writing Fight Scenes in Fiction (FightWrite™)

Trained fighter and author Carla Hoch shares 12 things all writers should consider when attempting to write effective fight scenes in fiction.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character turn out to be less than they seem.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 15th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Author Valeria Ruelas discusses the process of writing her new book, The Mexican Witch Lifestyle.

What Is the Hook, the Book, and Cook Query Pitching Technique for Writers?

What Is the Hook, the Book, and the Cook Query Pitching Technique for Writers?

Find out what "the hook, the book, and the cook" are in relation to writing query letters and pitching books to literary agents and book editors. This post answers the question of what each one is and how to successfully assemble the pieces.

Romance Retellings of Literary Classics

Romance Retellings of Literary Classics

Author Chloe Liese makes a case for the romance genre being the natural home for retellings, and shares some tips on how to write a successful romance retelling of literary classics.