Frequently Asked Questions
When does a new subscription start?
We like to send the magazine and the premiums out as soon as possible. However with a new subscription it’s not always clear whether or not the person has the current copy (unless they send in the postage paid envelope, which changes in each issue). If the magazine has been out awhile, we will assume the subscriber has this copy and begin with the next. Please let us know, by number, the issue you prefer to start with when you subscribe.
How can I tell when my subscription will expire?
The expiration date is printed next to your name on the mailing label. We also place an individualized sticker on your last issue of a subscription alerting you that your subscription is over. Beyond this we do not send out multiple reminders, but subscribers are very important to us. Without them Rosebud could not exist.
What happens if I move and forget to tell you?
We pay extra to have the Postal Service tell us when an issue is not delivered, for whatever reason. When they do this in a timely fashion we send out a replacement or credit you to receive an additional issue on your subscription. In any case the change of information is entered on the data base and your next issue will go to the new address. It is more efficient for us and there is less likelihood that your subscription will be interrupted, if you send a change of address notice to us when you move.
Can you send an individualized card with a gift subscription?
We are more than happy to do this, just give us the information when you send or call in your subscription. It is also helpful for us to know if you want the subscription to begin with the current issue or the next one.
How can I get back issues?
Order back issues of the magazine through The Rosebud Store.
I sent a piece in for consideration five months ago and have not heard anything, has it been rejected or are you still considering it?
Our goal is to return manuscripts within three to five months. Occasionally something is set aside, but if you have not heard within six months that means we will not use the piece. If you sent a self-addressed, stamped return envelope you should get an acceptance or rejection notice. We receive hundreds of submissions each week and like other literary magazines have no practical way to track them, but there are some things you should keep in mind:
1) An editor with “yes or no” decision making power reads each piece.
2) Because the delay in doing this puts a hardship on writers we encourage them not to wait on our decision but to simultaneously submit the work to others. If it should be accepted elsewhere, first, we will buy reprint rights under the same terms as if it had not been published
3) We publish less than 1% of the submissions we receive, which means that we reject many excellent pieces. As we are careful to explain in our guidelines the fact that we cannot use something you send in no way reflects on its quality or marketablility. One of our staff who regularly submits poetry to other publications tells us that he hears in from four to twelve months if a piece is being returned. Most of us at Rosebud are writers ourselves and want to do better than this. We used to send out postcards telling writers that we had received their pieces and pride ourselves on making individual comments on those we returned, but this added months to the response time. At this time all we can do is to apologize and tell you that with a volunteer staff we are doing the best we can.
Do I need to copyright work before sending it out?
In our experience there are few totally original ideas, most of the value is in how these themes are executed. The magazine itself is copyrighted and the copyright is returned by us to the writer upon publication. Even for unpublished material the copyright law now favors the creator.
Should I send a cover letter with my submission?
Practically speaking an editor is only going to spend a set amount of time with a first reading—use that to make your best case. If there is something that will make a difference put it in a cover letter, otherwise concentrate on an effective title and a strong couple of first few pages. The same is true for poetry. Wouldn’t you rather an editor spend five minutes carefully reading your best three poems than spend five minutes skipping and scanning thirty-five?
I am a beginning writer can you give me some comments on my work that would help me in the future?
Unfortunately we are not able to do this. Once a piece is accepted we may work with its writer to improve some part of it, but it is physically impossible for us to do this for work we do not accept. On the other hand members of the editorial staff try to make themselves available to writers' conferences in order to give specific feedback to workshop groups and individuals. If you can’t take advantage of this, we encourage you to check with your local bookstores, libraries or colleges to see if there are writing critique groups in your area. They can often provide more in-depth analysis of what is weak and what is strong than someone who is only spending a few minutes with a submission.
Should I submit my story or poem directly for publication in Rosebud or send it to the fiction, poetry and non-fiction contests the magazine runs?
Of course that is strictly up to you. The contests offer large prizes (usually $1,000), however they require a reading fee that is not necessary for a general submission. The selection processes are separate. You can also do both or submit to one first, then to the other. Sometimes runners-up are considered for publication even though they do not win a prize. The most current information on contests is on this web site.
What kind of stories and poems are you looking for?
The best way to answer this is to have you look at a sample issue. If you don’t wish to buy one, encourage your local library to order Rosebud. Our experience is that libraries appreciate recommendations from their customers, particularly if it is for a publication they are not familiar with. In addition to the guidelines we are also posting a story which ran in Rosebud several years ago, The Awakening, which the author has allowed us to annotate with what we particularly liked about it when deciding to publish it.
As other questions come in that are of general interest we will post them and their answers in this section. Thank you for your interest in Rosebud. We appreciate your support of the magazine. Please let us know what you like about it and what we can do to improve it in the future.