This page is meant to be a helpful guide, and to provide information on how submissions are handled. Your submission will not be rejected based solely on if you miss a point or two that is noted on this page.
#1 tip: Clear and concise is the way to go.
Verbosity and the use of obscure terms is not favourable.
Read the What we do not want section on the submissions page.
Style Guide: There is no formal style guide, however, the following points are relevant:
- Canadian English spelling is used in all fiction. (Neighbour, not neighbor for example.)
- UK English spelling may remain as-is only in poetry. (Your tyres will not be changed in a poem, but will become tires in a story.)
- US English spelling may remain as-is only in poetry (Your colors will remain in poetry but become colours in a story.)
- Double quotations marks are used, not single as is common in the UK. Single quotation marks are used in some instances only, such as a quote within a quote.
- The Oxford Comma is used.
- email is the preferred spelling — over e-mail
- Temperature: Celcius, not Fahrenheit
- A period is placed after Mr., Mrs. etc
Further points will be added to the above list as needed.
Do not worry too much about the UK/US/Canadian spellings – they will be adjusted as needed.
- Submit clean, edited work.
- Avoid story generators.
- Use adverbs in moderation, or not at all.
- Then and Than are not interchangeable. Lightening is not Lightning. Edit for proper word usage.
- When using regional dialect or colloquial speech, be sure to keep it to dialogue and inner monologues only, not blended into the third person narrative.
- Avoid current events/news items, especially avoid treating
these references as though they are of your own creation when they are actually factual.
- Avoid referring to/naming pop culture items, television shows, movies, celebrities, songs, publications, etc., or naming news media outlets, stations, publications. – these can distract, alienate readers who are not familiar with the reference, as well as date the writing and bring readers out of the story, even if briefly. Avoid brand names — generic descriptions work fine.
- Avoid allusions to others’ literary work – this is not a market for derivative pieces, and allusions to published works are not desirable.
- ‘Said’ is usually all that is needed (like every tip, there will be exceptions). Other dialogue tags (asked, exclaimed, grumbled, begged, yelled, etc) are redundant – punctuation and actions usually get the meaning across. For conversation to flow naturally, only use a tag when omitting one will make it unclear who is speaking,
- Terms deemed offensive or hurtful to any individual or group will be edited out or replaced, even in a historical piece depicting a time when such terms were commonplace.
- Avoid verbose writing; clear and concise is the way to go.
- While a publication history is not a prerequisite, expectations are for proper grammar, word usage, syntax, genuine style, and voice, researched, and accurate references.
Editing: As stated in the Submission Guidelines, we reserve the right to edit your work. Edits are only made when necessary – primarily copy editing, and proofreading. The less editing needed the better – it is a joy to read a piece that requires no changes, and no corrections. A well-edited submission will rise above one that comes across as a draft. Work will be edited for reasons included in the above tips and other. Historically, these are some of the reasons changes have been made: (so, another hint – don’t do this)
- to replace a misused word or to correct a spelling error
- to replace a word that is used excessively, especially multiple times within a few paragraphs.
- to simplify dialogue tags
- for the sake of clarity (when different pov or tense is used and not presented clearly, for example).
- to correct facts or inaccurate dates/events, etc.
- for brevity or correction of excessive run-on sentences.
- to remove offensive terms (often unintentionally, the author uses words and phrases that can be hurtful to certain groups).
- to remove (or in some cases capitalize) trademarked product names, company names, or specific media sources (naming a TV station or newspaper, for instance).
Editing poetry. Due to stylistic allowances, poetry is subject to minimal editing, so please proofread before submitting. Be sure to pull the text box wide enough to retain the formatting you intend. (The plain text field in the submissions manager can be widened by pulling the bottom right-hand corner.) NOTE: if your poetry has formatting that does not show in plain text, be sure to attach a file to ensure proper formatting.
Protect Your Work: You own the copyright to your work. It is up to you to protect your copyright. Frost Zone Zine, Frost Zone Press, and the editor(s) are not liable if your work is appropriated from this website or our publications. Theft can occur from any place that your work is published or otherwise made available to the public.
Respect The Work of Others: Frost Zone Zine, Frost Zone Press, and the editor(s) are not liable for inadvertently publishing work without the consent of the true author. Liability lies with the submitting author. If any work we publish is discovered to be appropriated or infringing, it will be promptly removed and we will attempt to notify the owner of said work.