transom

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come (in) over the transom

To be offered without prior agreement, consent, or arrangement; to be 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. Any journalist will tell you that a great story doesn't come in over the transom—you have to go and do the leg work to find one.
See also: come, over, transom

over the transom

Without prior agreement, consent, or arrangement; unsolicited or uninvited. Said especially of written works submitted for publication or consideration. Sometimes hyphenated. 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

over the transom

Without being agreed to; unsolicited: They even publish a few manuscripts that come in over the transom.
See also: over, transom
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

come in over the transom

Arrive as an unsolicited communication, most often a manuscript submitted to a publisher. The transom referred to is a small window above a door and was found in many offices before the advent of central air conditioning. Although the literal meaning has vanished with the existence of transoms, it continues to be used for manuscripts not submitted through an agent or requested by an editor. With the increasing development of self-publishing, the cliché may be heading toward obsolescence. However, it is still used sometimes for other matters, such as “We’ve had nearly one hundred job applications come in over the transom.”
See also: come, over, transom
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The main staircase is interesting for its decorative eagle and rose carvings and the stained glass, mullioned and transomed window to a half landing, retaining its early iron catches and with heraldic motifs.
Special details, in addition to the panelled drawing rooms and priest holes include the mullioned and transomed windows and the appearance throughout the house of the double-headed eagle emblem of the Wynne family.
Living space includes the hall and the big Oak Room which has a six light transomed window, and wonderful panelling with upper frieze and decorative cornice plus a fireplace, built-in oak seat, cupboard and polished oak floors and windowsill.
The main reception space is found on the first floor, a drawing room more than 15ft square, with an unusually high ceiling, around 10ft, mullioned and transomed windows on three sides with far-reaching countryside views and an open fireplace in carved stone set in one corner.
This would only happen where a purchaser had first bought Stamford House, a particularly good example of the vernacular style with its mullioned and transomed windows, classic pedimented front door and unspoilt interior.
The privileged location has been a selling point for nearly 300 years, a datestone recording the year 1717 and the initials WHL The house is built of local Cotswold stone in coursed ashlar with some quality detail including decorated pilasters, entablature with dentil cornice and mullioned and transomed windows.
The main staircase is of oak and leads from the reception hall past a stone mullioned and transomed window to the first floor galleried landing.