What Do All These Words Mean? (Short Fiction)

Here we will compile a codex, if you will, of publishing terms so you can review them. Some of them lead to bigger conversations that many people have spoken eloquently on. We will link to appropriate external resources for more in-depth discussion as we can.


Standard Manuscript Format (SMF) – The way a story is professionally formatted. Not doing so demonstrates that you’re not a professional. Chuck Rothman speaks about it at length at the SFWA website HERE.

Simultaneous Submission – Sending a story two more than one place at a time. Often frowned upon. Check the submission guidelines to see if your market will take simultaneous submissions.

Multiple Submission – Sending more than one story to a market at a time. Most places would only like one story at a time. Others prefer a selection. When in doubt, read the gudelines.

First Publication Rights – Most markets will purchase the right to publish a story for the first time. If it has preiously been published, you cannot publish it for the first time. This is really complicated and is better outlined by Neil Clarke, editor of Clarkesworld Magazine. If you would like to read more about rights HERE.

Reprint –  Reprint is the sale of a story that has already been published.

PodCast – A podcast is an audio recording of a story. There are many venues that offer audio recording with their publications

SFWA – Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Association. Professional writer’s organization



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