Monday, 4 January 2010


You submit a story to a respected literary journal, one that receives upwards of 600 in a reading cycle. Somehow you don’t read the standard yet polite rejection sent a month or so later, and email the editor thusly:

Any blood news on my story yet Limey’s [sic].

A further rejection is emailed, along with general advice that such approaches are unlikely to win favour or encourage the editor to read your further (also poor at a glance) submissions.

I’d like to publish the response but there may be children reading.

Yes, it’s frustrating when you don’t hear back, sometimes ever, regarding work. Even a standard rejection feels like a personal affront. But abusing those you hope will publish you always strikes me as a curious and rather doomed tactic.


whereimbloggingfrom said...

Yeah, it means a lot to hear back. I submitted a story during the summer and didn't hear back for six months, and was feeling a bit mournful because they'd been nice about the first story I submitted to them. The ed recently got back to me, apologising for the delay and suggesting edits for the piece. As rejections go, it was delightful.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

ha! oops.

reminds me of the time, early on, when I subbed to a call for short stories from a 'really well known and scary writer' (I hadnt heard of them but I was assured they were very important.)

I waited and waited. I waited past the deadline, past the date they said people would be informed... past the date when they said everyone had either had an acceptance or a rejection.
Then I read, months later, that the anthology was going to print, and how wonderful it was, and how I could buy copies 'here' if I wnated.

I emailed, politely, I thought, to say I hadnt heard one way or the other, didnt know if I was in it, assumed I wasnt as I had had no contracts...and please could they confirm?

Bam! 'We editors do talk to each other you know. We dont like being talked to like that' (like what?) Why not learn to be nicer to people and maybe they will be nicer to you.

ooo er missus.

very important writer seems to have quietened down since. ie, disappeared.

TOM J VOWLER said...

No such thing as a 'very important writer' ;)

Yeah, that's crap, V.

bingol said...

Now you've got _me_ wanting blood news.

Dave said...

Crikey. If ever there was an attitude that didn't warrant constructive criticism, that ould be it.