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Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

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Got my first rude-yet-hilarious response to a rejection sent out today!
Let me start by saying this: in my first two reading periods as a Poetry Department co-editor at Strange Horizons, which were one month each, I saw right around two hundred submissions each time. Due to a tremendous backlog of accepted work that we need to publish, we have so far this year switched over to two-month reading periods in which we can only accept as many poems as we normally would have accepted in a single month (i.e. we can only accept half as many poems for the time being). This means four hundred poems per reading period for each of us. It makes the selections process that much more challenging, but also that much more rewarding.

Keeping that in mind, the following email is how not to respond to a rejection. I sent out a large number of rejections today, as June's submissions so far have tallied around two hundred, and I expect to see the same amount in July. Only half of my current reading period is over, and I still have a great deal of work ahead. I enjoy reading the things that you send me, and I'm also eternally grateful that it's taken a relatively long time (about a year, in fact) for someone to send me a gem of a response like this:

Actually my poem about men participating in Atomic Testing at sea is the best think you have ever received. The reason you don't like it is because you don't have a literary mind. You should be on ebay selling fake Jewelry. Good luck.


The best think, even! This kind of behavior will get you automatically blacklisted on my watch, plain and simple: not because it offends me (my thin-skinned days with regard to petty and/or nasty emails, at least, are long behind me), but because it's juvenile and entirely uncalled-for. We respond to your submissions with cordiality and respect whether we're rejecting your work or accepting it, and we expect the same in kind.

This is a think of beauty!

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ajodasso Expand
tehomet Expand
Wow, that is a stunning level of rudeness and self-importance. O_O It's so over the top it shoots past petty and pathetic straight into "post on the wall and reread when you need a good laugh".

"Post on LJ for the amusement and edification of all" will just have to suffice ;)

That is in its own sphere, holy crow...lol

I'm sure somebody must compile missives like this somewhere, and they are welcome to catalogue it as a prize specimen...

This. . . oh boy do I love this. What an extraordinary find, this letter! Perhaps I will petition Anaea to let me read it for the podcast. I feel I could do it justice.

c i r o

Ciro, that would be awesome \m/

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ajodasso Expand
squeeful Expand
ajodasso Expand
This is now a think of the past! :D

I know people are all about being assertive, but that's just rude. I would never dream of responding to any type of professional missive like that!

Also, you have the most literary mind I've ever encountered. <3

It also turns out the poem in question is already self-published online, in a further fascinating turn of events: in short, I could not have accepted this poem anyway, due to its already-posted status.

I think there have always been people bearing responses equivalent to this one, even pre-what-we-would-recognize-as-language :-P

for someone to send me a gem of a response like this

Yeah, that goes beyond special snowflake: that person has a whole blizzard to themselves.

Applying this person's first name to the blizzard in much the same way one applies a first name to, say, a tropical storm or hurricane is providing me with a great deal of amusement. Thank you for that image.

sovay Expand
I love how he says in his reply what his poem's about, in case you misunderstood or maybe sent the rejection to the wrong person :P But I mean, with such a subject, how can you reject such a think? :D

Rarified subject matter indeed :-P

I am especially intrigued by the assertion that you should be on eBay selling fake jewelry. That is very specific yet oddly random as an attempted insult. Of all the possible careers to suggest for someone without a literary mind, why that one? There are both more insulting choices and more relevant ones.

I know! Fake jewelry! Ironic, though, because most of the jewelry-makers I know are also highly literary-minded people, whether they read, write, edit, or some other variant on the pursuit!

:) In RL I work in academic publishing for a high-ranking international journal - we desk reject about 60% and about another 30% go after the first round of reviewing. Given all that we get surprisingly few letters like that though we have had them of varying degrees, up to and including 'you're stupid and unqualified to make judgements on my work of unparalleled genius' or 'I'm going to slag you off in every venue and forum I can'. Sometimes you have to run damage control, but most of the time you just shrug and carry on - occupational hazard - but we always remember those people and no-one who's gone off on one at us has ever actually got what they wanted.

...oh wow. I bet you get really special crazy responses, given the academic component.

mogwai_do Expand
ajodasso Expand
mogwai_do Expand
Indeed. But it also laughs :-D

fake ebay jewellery! amazing! I like how they magically know the quality of everything else you've ever received, too...

I think the fake-eBay-jewelry thing is destined to become a legendary tongue-in-cheek insult.

Fake jewellery on ebay is quite a good insult though. Maybe they should stick to crafting those.

Now they just need to find a venue that takes insult subs.

The bizarre capitalisation surely merits a rejection all of its own!

The best think! *snerk snerk*

...in that case, you should have seen the strange orthography of the poem itself O_O