Meanwhile, I have a question for y’all to ponder. Many markets, both electronic and print, indicate that they "do not accept" simultaneous submissions — meaning that they do not wish an author to send them a manuscript that is also being reviewed by another market. At the same time — I’m speaking strictly of the short-fiction market here, not the novel market — many of these venues take anywhere from three to six months to give a response, which is rather a long time to wait.
I was surprised, at the Wesleyan Writers Conference in June, to hear the editor of a respected literary journal encourage simultaneous submissions. I then asked him how a writer ought to react to a journal that does not allow simultaneous subs. His response was, "Sc*** them; if they’re going to hang on to a manuscript for three months, they have no business expecting you to give them an exclusive option for that whole time period." Immediately he was asked what to do if a story were accepted by two different markets which both forbad simultaneous submissions. He said, "You should be so lucky; the odds are very heavily against it. But if it happens, I guess you’re going to burn a bridge with one of those two journals. Too bad. So, okay, maybe you wouldn’t send simultaneous submissions to the New Yorker."
I’ve been pondering this. Markets that are very fast (i.e., respond in less than a month) have, it seems to me, a legitimate claim to request that you give them an exclusive look while they review your manuscript. And there are some markets (say, Asimov’s) as to which I’d never want even to take a chance of burning a bridge. But what about all those others, the magazines with an average 180-day turnaround on Duotrope that aren’t always the Mecca of All Manuscripts? Do you risk pissing them off or not?
To clarify: I’m not asking what you actually do; I’m asking for your opinion on the matter.