Submitting Your Work
Thank you for submitting your work to Polyphony H.S. We take your submission seriously. After your piece is received, it will be sent by our managing editor, Billy Lombardo, into the editorial cycle. Your work will be commented on by a First Reader, a Second Reader, and a Genre Editor. The final decision on publication is made by either an Executive Editor or the Editor-in-Chief. All of our editors are high school students, like yourself. At the conclusion of the cycle, editor comments are compiled and sent directly to you. Comments and publication notification generally are received within ten weeks of submission.
Our Submission Deadline is May 31th of Each Volume Year.
Please click on the links in the left hand column to begin the submission process.
First, A Little Submission Advice
- Write your best story, poem or essay.
- Revise it.
- Make sure you’re happy with every word.
- Show it to someone who knows what they’re doing and who isn’t related to you. (Many of us have relatives who think we’re the best living authors).
- Revise it again.
- Send us your best work. We appreciate careful work.
- Start reading as writers. As you read, ask yourself questions such as: What does the author accomplish with this dialogue? Shift in point of view? Action? Movement in plot? etc.
- Keep it clean. No erotica. Please. We won’t be horrified, appalled, shocked, or offended by profanity, but we will ask ourselves, What does the author lose or gain with this language? If you want to create despicable characters, there are cleverer ways to manage this.
- Please don’t send us visual art with your submissions
- Read back issues of Polyphony H.S.
- Regarding First Drafts: Please don’t send us your first draft. Read over your work carefully after you’ve written the first draft. We all know how great that draft feels, the best stories ever written began with one; but it is not as good as the second draft, and it is certainly not as good as the tenth.
- Don’t be afraid of that great sensory detail, but don’t fall prey to over-specificity.
- Be wary of adverbs when you mean for them to describe human emotions. Instead of telling the reader that Joey Lessner looked excitedly at Tina Koumas from across the dance floor, tell us he put his hand on his pounding heart for fear that it would burst through his rib cage if he didn’t hold it back.
- Showing vs. Telling. First of all, it’s okay to tell sometimes, but do not tell us “it was a real struggle for Alfonso to ride his bicycle through the mud.” Show us the tires grappling for purchase in the mud, but slipping, let Alfonso scream at the gods for throwing yet another obstacle in his path.
- Read your work aloud and edit it for sound, rhythm, and variation in sentence length.
- Know something about the rules of the genre, but don’t obey them slavishly.
The Editorial Cycle Explained
2) The Managing Editor receives the submission and forwards it to a First Reader.
3) The First Reader a) reads the submission, b) writes specific and general commentary, c) acts on it (accepts or rejects), and d) forwards it back to the Managing Editor.
4) The Managing Editor receives the submission and forwards it to a Second Reader.
5) The Second Reader a) reads the submission, b) writes specific and general commentary, c) reads and edits the commentary of the First Reader, d) creates a new message for the author that includes the First Reader’s edited commentary and the Second Reader’s commentary, d) acts on the submission (accepts or confirms reject) and e) forwards it back to the Managing Editor.
6) The Managing Editor receives the submission and forwards it to a Genre Editor.
7) The Genre Editor a) reads the submission, b) writes specific and general commentary, c) reads and edits the commentary of the First Reader, d) reads and edits the commentary of the Second Reader, e) prepares a final message for the author that includes the First and Second Reader’s edited commentary, d) acts on the submission (accepts or confirms reject) and e) forwards it back to the Managing Editor.
8) The Managing Editor receives the submission and a) either sends it directly to the Author, or b) sends it to an Executive Editor or the Editor-in-Chief.
9) The Executive Editor or Editor-in-Chief makes a final determination on the submission.
10) The Submission is returned to the Author. If the piece is rejected, a rejection letter is sent to the author, and if the piece is accepted for publication, often a submission goes through what we call an in-house editorial process, which often involves extended correspondence between an in-house editor and the author.