Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Poets & Writers Gets Snippy About LROD

Poets & Writers' editor discusses LROD in his News and Trends column.  It's a weird article that puts editors and writers in the same boat.  Larimer reviews all of the major stories that appeared here on LROD (without credit), including Fence's "Eat Shit and Die" incident, Virginia Quarterly's questionable judgment and subsequent apology (sort of) and the Genoways v Junker Bout.  

Here's a highlight from the column:

"Rather than dwelling on the lousy submission or the lame rejection—or even the crummy criticism of the lame rejection of the lousy submission—how about devoting one's time to writing and publishing work that know, good? Isn't it the editor's job to read the bad writing so that his readers don't have to? And isn't it part of the writer's job to learn from—rather than reject—rejection? It's a pretty simple lesson, really: Either your writing needs more work or the offending journal doesn't."

I don't get the end of that last sentence, do you?


Minnie Mouse said...

Kind of a leap for them to assume LROD isn't in favor of learning from rejection or a writer honing his/her craft. Rather, rejection is a part of the path to publication; rejection hurts, ergo we writers can benefit from commiseration. IMO, they entirely missed the point of LROD.

Elizabeth said...

I get so fucking sick of people (including anonymice) telling me how to "better use my time." I agree with Minnie Mouse. Letting off steam and wallowing in the company of co-rejectees gives me confidence in my writing: I'm not the only one by a longshot. Strength in numbers and all that.

Whining about rejection is part of my artistic process, man. Hands off the process.

Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

And another thing!

" about devoting one's time to writing and publishing work that know, good?"

So, if my piece gets rejected from six journals and then gets picked up by a seventh, it's no good. Or only 1/7th good.

If I write a brilliant poem that remains in the desk drawer, it can't be good, because it's not been accepted.

The only way to be good is to get published? On the first shot? Third? Eighteenth? At what point do I acknowledge my work as un-good? What's the threshold here? 'Cause I wanna know.

Does this person have even a nodding acquaintance with the publishing industry?

And yes, that last sentence, the pious "pretty simple lesson, really," left its naughty bits dangling for the reader to.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny when editors address writers with a superior tone, and then make obvious mistakes themselves (i.e. that last sentence, which is a total trainwreck.) I've noticed glaring typos and bad grammar on many lit mag web sites. I've even gotten rejection letters written with clumsy grammar. And how hard is it to write a three-sentence form letter? Just ignore editors who can't write compently. Unless they accept you of course....