Here’s a tip for you slush writers out there:

Don’t indicate that you’ve read the submission guidelines unless you actually follow them.

For example, don’t send our writers’ guidelines flyer back to us with your submission–indicating, one assumes, that you’ve read it–if you’ve printed it on canary-colored paper, didn’t include an SASE, didn’t double space, and didn’t put your name on each page of the manuscript (all of which are clear violations of the writers’ guidelines). It’s just a bad sign all around, and even the most forgiving or optimistic editor can’t help but be discouraged by such a portent. Though it’s not necessarily a condemnation of your writing skills, it certainly doesn’t say much about your reading comprehension.

Okay, so the SASE, the double spacing, the lack of a name on each page… we can chalk those up to carelessness. But what’s the deal with the canary-colored paper? I don’t know why anyone would think that’s a good idea. The only thing I can think of is that he was trying to match our guidelines flyer, which is printed on canary-colored paper. But it doesn’t say “Make your submission look like this flyer” on it anywhere, so it’s not much of an explanation.