Been a while since we've had one of these. Guess I thought I'd covered it all. Even posted my series of articles on the "Market Help" page. Now writers will carefully read the guidelines, evaluate their potential markets (including reading some stories to see if they fit in), and comply with all formatting and other rules set down by the editors. Now, because of better targeted submissions, slush piles will shrink to manageable levels, response times will dwindle, and smiles will break out all over the world as writers, editors, and publishers enjoy their families and friends, freed from the horrible rat race that has held them as slaves to their desks.
I still get complaints from editors about writers not following the guidelines. Not even reading them apparently. Sending gothic horror stories to NOTHING BUT SF magazine, or s&s to MURDER IN THE CITY webzine. Writers still tell me they wait even longer to get replies.
Make no mistake, it's a buyer's market. Too many writers swamping too few publications with too many inappropriate submissions, which puts the onus squarely on the author. It's up to us. We can help each other. I know it's boring, and time-consuming, to read guidelines ... I do it all the time. Not only have I read all the GLs on my web site, I've checked them for typos, inconsistencies, current status, and incorrect dates. Then I whittled them down to make the short listings on the main market pages.
The rest is up to you. You just have to read them and comply. For all of us.