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.
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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 ?
In Priscilla's case, strength was tact, and tact strength, as she dealt with article assignments and over-the-transom submissions, attended cover and circulation conferences, and coped with overbearing authors (whom I imagined hanging up their phones afterward to go bear down on some other intended, but less formidable, victim), authors' deadlines, typesetters' deadlines (in those happy days of old), and Joe Sobran's deadlines.
The over-the-transom effort helped Wet Dream win second place, and Jill Clark took top angler honors.
Across the Midwest, snowstorms brought the usual slowdown in the over-the-transom market, but the downturn was no more than might be expected even if prices on the LME were strong.
There are over-the-transom queries from freelancers, assignment clarifications, press releases, and the occasional ejoke.
What I don't want are over-the-transom pitches -- by mail, fax or e-mail -- from people I don't know who want me to do a story about such and such or so and so and they're not in the news, they're not about to be in the news, have no relation to anything in the news and they're just looking to raise their profile.
Glenn von dem Bussche of the Newport Beach search firm of O'Shea, Divine said: "Normally a recruiter won't spend but a few minutes looking at an over-the-transom resume, but the curiosity factor of the CD-ROM earned you 10 to 15 minutes.