Friday, July 18, 2008

You know what peeves me?

I know, it's a common complaint but...

...I'm getting sick of editors.

This isn't because of a rejection. I take rejections in stride. This is more because I haven't recieved a rejection in a while. See, there are several pieces (not Harvest Hill ) that are out there right now to certain anthologies (once again, not Harvest Hill ...I love those guys). My problem isn't even these people are still doing considerations.

My problem is that they have stated, several times, that they're evaluating every piece, giving feedback (nice on both), then...apparently...holding every single piece until they're ready to send out all the letters.

This would be fine and dandy, but in a couple of instances the editors are way past the deadline for submission. Look, if I'm going to get a rejection, and if you know you're going to reject me, send out the letter. Please, send out the damn letter. Do you know how stressful it is, long after deadlines have passed, to be sitting around waiting on an editor to "let you down gently"? I've got things to do, stories to write and rewrite, and if you've decided to send me a rejection, send it already! Let me get back to work.

This doesn't apply to those poor souls who have stories on hold...or those fellows with gigantic slush piles to weed through. They get a pass, because it takes them far much more time to evaluate than it did for me to write...all I ask, though, is some simple courtesy. If something is going to take much longer than your projected response date to send, then have the courtesy to give us a mass email and say so.

In a world where projects seem to fold daily, having no news is definitely not good news. It leaves the writer wondering if their work is still viable with a market, or if it should be sent to find another home. I'm not asking for special treatment, just to be updated occassionally on delays that might occur. Considering the deadlines we're given, and the ranting editors do when something is far out of bounds, there needs to be some general courtesy extended to those who submit in relation to timelines.

Alright, I'm done venting. Back to the edge of my seat, waiting for my rejections to come in.

J.C. Tabler


Catherine J Gardner said...

I'm guessing you're feeling a wee bit stressed and thinking your email is dead (not that I ever feel that way :) no sir).

I think the guys over at Graveside Tales (and I include in that people like Christopher and his Black Garden and Nathaniel and his Malpractice) have spoiled us. Same with the folks over at Permuted Press.

Is one of the projects your venting about the one concerning spectres and computers? ;)

J.C. Tabler said...

You know, the email thing is part of it.

Really, though, it's just...well..simplicity. Every single one of these editors I've seen has designed a blog to communicate with their audience/writers. Yet they only seem to post good news, or happy updates. If the news could be negative...

For example, there's a story of mine, been out about 100 days past the review time. I confirmed it was sent, but didn't ask about status as the editor is kinda harsh on querying submissions. Today I find out, through his blog, that apparently he's been backlogged since May. It wouldn't bother me, except during that time this editor has made regular posts about how well everything is going.

Example of how to handle this? ASIM had some trouble, and the moment they realized it wasn't going to be quickly fixed, made information available that they would be falling behind in reviewing situations.

I'm not asking an editor to hold my hand, I'm askign for an editor to keep us all informed about delays. GITM is one of my problem areas, mainly the fact that emails had to be sent to assure the anthology was still a going matter after several weeks of "we'll be sendign out the letters next week".

Hell Cate, you've heard of the anthology that folds right after the end of its submission period, or the magazine that goes belly up with nary a word to its contributors. I'd just like some sort of update from the editor occassionally, not personalized but at least explaining the situation if there is going to be a logn wait past the projected response time.

No, for those who don't give a projected response time, I have no problem. I don'y mind assuming they're backlogged and need work, and they didn't give me an estimate either so I have no room to complain...but when you say something will/should be done by a certain date, dammit, let me know if that changes!

I think I'm done now....Sending the zombie story your way.

Barry Napier said...

I feel your pain. This post actually made me feel a bit better about my homicidal feelings towards a few anthos that I have peices submitted to. One of them, if rejected, I'm going to try to tone down and send over to Crow Toes Quarterly. But I'm not gonna edit it until I Know for sure. I won't say who the editors are, but I will say that the last thing posted about said antho was that they'd be sending out responses by June 15th. And I still haven't seen one.

Catherine's right tho...I think the folks that we're familiar with are spoiling us with the awesome updates. The sad thing is that they're method isn't the norm. I think, as writers, we're expected to be that stereotypical zombie sitting by the computer and endlessly clicking the CHECK MAIL button.

Best of luck, man!