Open Calls from a Publisher’s POV
As much of a leap as a writer has to take in order to put themselves out there for an open, as hard as they have to work on their introduction e-mail, resume and come up with a good concept to send in, it is hard from the other direction too. Third Eye Games currently has its fourth open call ongoing and it’s a different experience each time for us. We get a LOT of submissions, we have to take our time reading through them all to find the right person. It was one of my goals when becoming a publisher to help new and upcoming writers/artists get their foot in the door and hopefully give someone the big break they needed to become a star.
Looking over submissions, we are paying close attention to each writer’s ability to self-edit and catch inconsistencies, their understanding of the mechanics of their concepts, and also how well they see an idea through. On top of all of that, we look at how closely they follow directions given in the open call itself and their grasp on the approach for each game. Sending me a ninja description in 1st person is very fitting of the Ninja Crusade line, but a Theology write-up for Part-Time Gods in 1st person doesn’t really hit the mark. Just sending some statistics doesn’t work, but sending a novel doesn’t either. It’s a hard balance to hit for some, but even with a submission that’s not perfect, you still have a chance if you show potential for greatness with a little learning.
It still brings a certain level of nervousness, because we can’t take everyone. There are only so many writing positions in the end, only so many projects. Though I do have a lot of irons on the fire and there are many opportunities in Third Eye Games, it’s always a gamble to put a newbie writer on a really important project, as they are untested and you’re still figuring out how well you work together. I have found some amazing writers out of open calls and working with uncredited authors, but then again I’ve gotten burned just as many times.
If you are going to submit to an open call, this one or another, be sure that you put your best foot forward and that you’re willing to jump head first. Any hesitations can throw off deadlines and decimate a publisher’s attempts to keep their own release schedules. So, don’t submit unless you have asked yourself if you are 100% ready for such an undertaking.
Until next time!