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Ys

Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

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Got my first rude-yet-hilarious response to a rejection sent out today!
Ys
ajodasso
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.

[NAME REDACTED]


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.

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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!

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