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The easiest way to get into The Door is to write something funny. Not funny ha ha. But funny HA HA HA. Laugh-out-loud- funny. We're not looking to mildy amuse here.
So what do we consider funny? Whatever makes us laugh. The best way to determine that is to read several issues of The Door.
If you'll do that ahead of time, you'll realize that we no longer accept poetry, first-person essays, sermonettes, and articles that won't make any sense unless you grew up in the Church. Second, our thrust has always been to use humor and satire to point out the absurdities of people who either use religion to enrich their own savings accounts or use religion to convince/brainwash others into following their peculiar agendas. This means any kind of religion. We're not particular. (Exception #1: If your article is funny enough, forget the above couple of paragraphs. Humor rules.)
Here is an important point: we don't want to be exclusive. The new owners are serious about making fun of pomposity and self-righteousness wherever it is found, including all other religions, faiths, and credos. (That includes the New Age, Wicca, Druidism, Buddhism, Zoroasterism, and any other -ism you can think of.)
And that means your articles have to be funny to both someone with only a vague, nodding acquaintance with religion in general and to a born again/Sunday School/Training Union/Bible Sword Drill/Youth Choir/Southern Baptist Deacon. The Door is a religious jargon-free zone. (Exception #2: If your article is funny enough, forget the above paragraph.)
If you've got an article that qualifies, send it to:
Robert Darden, Editor P.O. Box 1444 Waco, TX 76703-1444.
If you're computer-empowered, e-mail it to: email@example.com (Compuserve folks just e-mail it to 103361,23.)
If not, we currently use WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, running on IBM machines on Double Density (DD) disks -- not High Density (HD) disks.
If you can't do either of those things, go ahead and send it on hard copy. But be forewarned: it won't be very long before we're going to have to accept stuff electronically -- exclusively.
If your piece meets the above requirements, just send it our way. It's hard to tell from a query letter if an article is Door funny.
Also: put your name, address, social security number, and telephone number on both your cover letter and the first page of your manuscript, no matter how short or long it is.
Oh yeah -- grab a copy of The AP Style Book at your local used book store. That's the stylebook we'll be using from now on.
And always, always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) if you're making any kind of submission and want either a response or your stuff back. We're simply getting too much stuff to return articles, disks, photographs, drawings, or whatever without return postage attached. Speaking of drawings, we love single panel gag cartoons. No need to send originals -- good quality photocopies will do. Just write "Please Do Not Fold -- Artwork Enclosed" on the outside of your oversized envelope.
A couple of final tips: we don't commission articles or interviews. We like 'em, we buy 'em. We don't, we send 'em back.
Payment and author's copies are sent within a couple of weeks after publication.
And, of course, enclose that mandatory SASE.
We generally try to respond on submissions within a month or so. Robert Darden screens all articles. Ones he likes he takes before the Star Chamber/Trinity Editorial Board, which is generally comprised of Ole Anthony, Skippy R., and whoever doesn't have kitchen duty that night. The board hashes 'em out, argues over 'em, consults chicken entrails, casts lots, and eventually comes to a consensus. These articles go into our "accepted" pile where they are considered with each upcoming issue of The Door. Articles that don't survive the process are returned to the original authors.
In otherwords, the entire process is completely arbitrary. Just because we didn't buy your article this time doesn't mean we won't go scalded ape crazy over your next one and practically throw money at you.
So fire away. We're looking forward to hearing from you.*
*The Door is 90% freelance written and proud of it.
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