I sort of had that experience with the contest I was chairing. Only I wrote to someone to let them know they hadn't placed in the contest, and I got a response back saying, "Who is this again? I don't remember submitting anything to you? Do you know what my piece was called?"
|By OCAL, clker.com|
I had written the name of the organization, as well as the contest, several times in the email, so I was really confused as to why they simply didn't look it up. Plus, this person had paid to be in the contest (there was an entry fee), so there were multiple ways to track. PayPal, for one. The website. Their outgoing emails.
It made me wonder just how many contests this person was entering! I mean, props to them for submitting and submitting and submitting, if that is the case. However, if they're submitting that many pieces, maybe they should be keeping track in some way. Do you really want to write to an editor, for instance, and ask, "Who is this?" Probably not. Of course, I'm no editor, so this didn't impact them professionally, but if they weren't keeping track of paid contest entries, there's a good chance they're not keeping track of other submissions.
For me, I keep an Excel spreadsheet with the date of submission, title of submission piece, who I've submitted it to, their response period (if this is listed), their website, their email, and the editor's name. I then have tabs where I move it if I get a rejection or acceptance. This helps me keep track of those I've submitted to, and insures I won't have a mind spasm and re-submit the same piece to the same place. Given, I'm not submitting so many things that this is likely to happen (in fact, I haven't submitted since the piece that got accepted), so this shouldn't be an issue for me.
I also keep the copy of the piece I sent in within a folder called "Stories Submitted," so I always have the proper version and formatting sitting there to check, if need be. And I file the email in a folder for submissions, so I know what bio and information I sent. Overkill? Maybe. But it came in handy when I needed to notify one publication that another had accepted a story that was a simultaneous submission between the two. I was able to pull up the email and contact the appropriate person. Shew!
I'm wondering just how many people keep track of their submissions, and how they do so. Do you send it and forget it? Do you keep a record of it? What's your process for keeping track of your submissions? Do you include contests in that? Have you ever received an acceptance or rejection from someone you didn't remember submitting to?
May you find your Muse.