BASW: How (and when) to Submit
The deadline for submissions to The Best American Sports Writing 2017 HAS PASSED. I am now accepting submissions for The Best American Sports Writing 2018.
NOTICE: My Publisher has a contractual demand that REQUIRES me to supply either tear sheets, PDF printouts, xeroxes or hard copy of ALL stories which appeared in a print source. ALL STORIES from print sources must be submitted in this fashion. NO PRINT stories will be considered that do not meet this criteria. Stories from ONLINE SOURCES must be printed out as it originally appeared (i.e. including illustrations and layout – do not strip it down to a Word file – online programs that convert the file to a PDF are acceptable).
Please note that I cannot accept electronic submissions or only the submission of links. Stories that first appeared as “Kindle singles,” or were first published and sold as originals are NOT eligible, and neither is work that is either a book excerpt or wholly derivative of another published work (i.e., an abridged or adapted version).
As series editor of The Best American Sports Writing, it is my responsibility to read as many stories as possible and forward approximately seventy-five stories to the guest editor, who then selects the best twenty-five stories or so to appear in each volume, and is welcome to include stories not submitted by series editor. How do I select those 75 stories? I simply pick those stories that, after reading them once, I want to read again. But in order to do that, I have to see the story in the first place.
Every season I read every issue of hundreds of general interest and sports magazines in search of writing that might merit inclusion in The Best American Sports Writing. I also actively survey online outlets and encourage submissions from writers, editors and readers through social media and in the foreword to every edition.
Obviously, this doesn’t include every great story. That’s why everyone reading this is encouraged to send me stories they’ve written or read in the past year that they would like to see reprinted in this volume. Writers, readers, and all other interested parties should feel free to alert me to either your own work or that of someone else for consideration in The Best American Sports Writing 2018 according to the following criteria:
-Must be column length or longer.
-Must have been published in 2017.
-Must not be a re-print or book excerpt.
-Must be published in the United States or Canada.
-Must be postmarked by February 1, 2018.
All submissions must include the name of the author, date of publication, publication name and address. Photocopies, tear-sheets or clean copies are fine. Readable reductions to 8 ½ x 11 are preferred. Submissions from on-line publications must be made in hard copy, and those who submit stories from newspapers should submit the story in hard copy as published. Since newsprint generally suffers in transit, newspaper stories are best copied and then mounted on 8 ½ x 11 paper, and, if the story also appeared on-line, with the appropriate URL attached. There is no limit to the number of submissions either an individual or a publication may make, but please use common sense. Due to the volume of material I receive, no submission can be returned or acknowledged. I also believe it is inappropriate for me to comment on or critique any individual submission. Print publications (apart from newspapers) that want to be absolutely certain their contributions are considered are advised to provide a complimentary subscription to the address listed below. Those that already do so should make sure to extend the subscription.
No electronic submissions will be accepted, although stories that only appeared on-line are eligible. Please send all submissions by U.S. Mail – weather conditions in mid-winter mean I often can’t receive UPS or Fed Ex submissions – and please hit the deadline. Each year I receive dozens of stories too late to be considered. If the event a story is selected for publication, your publication will be contacted concerning rights and permissions.
Please submit either an original or clear paper copy of each story, with the publication name, author and date the story appeared, to:
P.O. Box 549
Alburgh, VT 05440
A note on the “Notables”: I select stories selected to appear in the “Notable Sports Writing of the Year” section to let writers know that I am paying attention, to encourage writers who aspire to the book , and to honor stories that, in another year, and perhaps with a few small changes or with a different guest editor, may well have been a final selection. At the same time I don’t really see the need to acknowwledge every story that almost made the book – the established writer at a big name publication doesn’t need that kind of acknowledgment as much as a lesser known or less experienced writer might. So I guess you could say that in the “notables” section I tend to favor the prospects over the All-Stars.