over the transom


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over the transom

(hyphenated if used before a noun) Without prior agreement, consent, or arrangement; unsolicited or uninvited. Said especially of written works submitted for publication or consideration. My biggest task as an intern was sorting through and usually disposing of amateur works that came over the transom. I could tell the poor kid needed a job, but all I could do was stick his application in with all the other over-the-transom applications.
See also: over, transom

over the transom

offered or sent without prior agreement; unsolicited. US informal
A transom is a crossbar set above a door or window, and the word can also be used, especially in American English, as a term for a small window set above this crossbar. In former times, before the advent of air conditioning, many offices would leave these windows open for the purposes of ventilation, thereby allowing an aspiring author to take their manuscript to an editor's office and slip it through the open window to land on the floor inside. So, a manuscript that arrived over the transom was one that was unexpected. The phrase is still often used in publishing contexts, although it is no longer confined to them.
1976 Piers Anthony But What of Earth? Editors claim to be deluged with appallingly bad material ‘over the transom’ from unagented writers.
See also: over, transom

over the transom

Without being agreed to; unsolicited: They even publish a few manuscripts that come in over the transom.
See also: over, transom
References in periodicals archive ?
The company has become hot enough for unsolicited scripts to start coming in over the transom.
For once it looks like the tables will be turned and (E&P companies) will just have a huge flow of money coming in over the transom largely because of these wellhead revenues," Olson said in an interview with NGI.
In the Notre Dame business office, accountant Joyce Pruitt said faxes in support of the team have begun to move over the transom.
Leaning over the transom, Whitworth succumbed to his seasickness.