Monday, February 9, 2009

Little Rejection on the Prairie


Speaking of A-list, here's one:  "We thank you for submitting your manuscript for our consideration.  We regret that we are unable to accept it for publication.  Also, we are way out of your league." The decoration at the bottom of the note is 27 dagger points on which you may fall.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

imagine you are an mfa student working on the literary journal that your university puts out. you read a good submission from someone who's new on the scene, or old on the scene but not a name. as you yourself are new on the scene and not a name, you don't want to give a leg up to someone who is your competition.

so instead, you green light works from names, writers who aren't your direct competitors.

when you submit to a journal whose website is under a .edu domain, WR, this is what you are dealing with. readers who are young students and who view you as a competitor. i can't fault them, as i would do the same thing in their position.

nate said...

Way out of who's league? That is, who reads Prairie Schooner? You tell someone you have a story there they look at you and say, "What?"

But to demand exclusivity, take 2+ months to get back to you, and then give you a lousy tiny form letter ... that's rotten and nasty. Screw the Schooner.

nate said...

By the way, anon above, that was a brilliant insight. That's exactly it -- the scholastic competition is so fierce that of course you won't give a hand to unknowns. You need to network, and that's exactly what happens with story acceptances as well.

The other thing about the young student readers is that they're not very sophisticated. They really don't understand art. Or fine writing. They're not going to understand anything that's too smart and they're not going to like anything that's too far removed from the decadent youth-culture experience of now. These .edu journals are just an impasse.

Anonymous said...

The decoration represents 27 mountains you have to climb in order for Hilda to write a comment on you rejection slip.

:)

An Overworked Prof said...

Why do you (so-called) commercial writers continue to bother with the academic journals? That is, if you hate them so much. There is no benefit in it for you. You will not get paid; however, you seem fascinated with pursuing "professional rates". You will not get a commercial readership; however, when asked why you pursue publication, this is the first reason you state. You will gain a publishing credit that is meaningful to the educational community; however, you will not benefit because you are not a part of it. In fact, you disparage it at every turn.

You are, quite frankly, wasting your time. And you are wasting everyone else's time. Our journals run on restricted budgets with limited resources and staff. We are overworked quite enough as it is. There is no conspiracy here; we simply have a job to do. We have nothing against you, I assure you that. In fact I hope you do succeed. It would only please me to know that you will find success at your vocation; however, you will not move ahead in that vocation by continuing to bother us here. Do you not understand. If you will have nothing to do with academic life, why do you continue to add your stories to our slush? Please stop.

Perhaps we should all begin to charge reading fees, as mentioned on here. Not to profit from it, since I am not paid for my position. Not as a conspiracy to keep you commercial writers away from the public eye (we do not offer such a solution to anyone). But to simply free us from having to deal with submissions from individuals who obviously have no business contacting us to begin with.

Writer, Rejected said...

We are not on the whole commercial writers on this blog. Or let me speak for myself. I'm not commercial, but literary, and I'd give my left nut/breast to be published in the top tier lit journals, academic or not.

Perhaps I do waste my time, but even without my MFA, I've been granted entrance into some very good journals from big universities in the midwest if you know what I mean.

But I do find your final paragraph to be rather insulting and to highlight exactly what's wrong with the system.

some people never learn (especially the over-educated) said...

Prof, your budget is limited because (a) few people even in academia subscribe to your journal, (b) you only carry adverts from MFA programs that probably can't pay much for ads.

Commercial writers know a thing or two about attracting readers and advertisers. However much you turn your nose up at them, accepting a few more of them into your pages will only improve the quality of your journal, which will in turn bring more readers and advertisers.

Best of all, commercial writers can turn out high quality literary fiction, just as fine and refined as any prof's, and people outside the ivory tower will actually enjoy it!

Eventually, you could even get paid for your job. You want that, don't you?

Anonymous said...

i think the prof is very well paid as it is

(and awesome benefits plus summers off and spring break and xmas break and other holidays too)

prof doesn't need readership and probably doesn't want it (who wants the extra scrutiny?)

you have to understand, these things are not about making money/getting readers. it's a credit game. you pat my back / i pat your back. hundreds of them are out there. their purpose is prestige / cv padding. they don't want more eyeballs

get it?

prof's editorial position probably is not all that much work anyway ... farm out the tough parts to the lovely coeds ... it takes up some of his time, but it's just a necessary evil for the wellpaying job of teaching at a university

even the smart genre writers are going mfa now because the networking opps (like this) are just too great ... it's not about money/eyes it's about prestige, links, cv credits ... when you have enough (or the right ones) you'll get the highpaying gigs at good schools, all the sweet mfa seminars on location in great resorts, the paid meals/entertainment/lodging, the academic world is one big happy party

plus they publish their books

Anonymous said...

No one has mentioned the other way the prof gets paid (overworked, you're free to correct this) -- if he gets a piece in Prairie Schooner, he gets a minimal honorarium. However, he then takes that pub cred to his faculty compensation committee, where it counts toward the formula for his raise. So maybe with all his various brownie points for the past year, he gets a 3% raise, of which the Prairie Schooner piece is a part. Let's round it to 1% of his raise, and let's say he makes $75K for his sinecure. So he's paid $750 for the Prairie Schooner piece -- not just this year, but every year afterward that he continues his tenured employment.

No wonder he doesn't want a non-academic competing for the boodle. Overworked indeed. It's a racket.

Anonymous said...

We may also infer that overworked is an editor of an academic literary journal for which he claims not to be paid. However, he does take all these little extras like committee assignments, publications, community service, etc., to his faculty compensation committee, which uses a formula to factor in all these little bits of karma to figure his annual raise. So let's say that one year he got maybe half a percent raise for editing the mag. That stays in his salary for each subsequent year, and it's entirely possible that the compensation committee has given him more raises for his valuable contribution in each subsequent year, at which point we get to survey the marvel of compound interest.

Overworked, you're obtuse, dishonest, or both, like so many of your colleagues.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everybody above. Most significantly, with the Prof.
We need more truth-telling from the academic journals. Tell us you don't want us to bother you. Drop submission guidelines, or charge a $20 reading fee. Stop the onslaught of unwanted mss from the Great Unwashed.
I'm serious. Don't be hypoctites.
Trouble is, the Insiders pretend to be inclusive - they ARE hypocrites.
BTW, my one experience with Prairie Schooner showed me just how much disregard a magazine/staff/Hilda Raz/et al can have for an unknown writer. They are my personal low point: the disregard took on the dimensions of contempt. Though I persisted (partly out of curiosity), I COULD NOT GET A RESPONSE FROM ANYONE THERE TO A QUERY LETTER. I even wrote someone in the English department; I wrote the head guy at the university press. NOBODY answered. My letters were all polite; my essay idea was about a Nebraska writer (published by the university press). Why did I persist? It became a kind of experiment.
So, Hilda, write a comment here and tell us the truth: you don't give a tinker's damn about me or my essay.
Yes, very, very few read those mags. They are simply "credentials." I've been published in a number of 2nd tier magazines, and have truly felt that my work went unread. Fact of the matter is, they sent me copies (instead of payment) and, forgive me, but I did not read the other stories in the issue that included me; what a rat I am.
Could a magazine of stories succeed in the marketplace today? I doubt it.

paranoianonymous said...

if i may throw in my own conspiracy theory, i believe the over worked prof comment was written by John, and at least one of the responses was also by John.

i've read some of his writing, much of it is about english profs, and, it matches somewhat in tone and style the way John writes.

not that i don't suspect many editor/profs feel this way, i just don't think an actual english prof wrote that comment.

paranoianonymous said...

if i may throw in my own conspiracy theory, i believe the over worked prof comment was written by John, and at least one of the responses was also by John.

i've read some of his writing, much of it is about english profs, and, it matches somewhat in tone and style the way John writes.

not that i don't suspect many editor/profs feel this way, i just don't think an actual english prof wrote that comment.

Pissed said...

"Why do you (so-called) commercial writers continue to bother with the academic journals?"

Don't assume everyone is a commercial writer here. I certainly am a literary writer.

"You will gain a publishing credit that is meaningful to the educational community"

This seems like the worst reason in the history of the universe to write and publish. I would prefer to be read, I would prefer to make something meaningful, I am not interested in your commercially tinged language of "credits" that is meaningful only to a small handful of academics.

"If you will have nothing to do with academic life, why do you continue to add your stories to our slush?"

Is there another option? Show me where else will publish my stories. You don't get it: you're saying, this is what these journals are, so bugger off. What I say is: YOU should change. What I see is that many different types of writers are fighting for the small fiction market.

"I am not paid for my position"

As others have pointed out, you can't be this naive. This is like a secretary saying he/she doesn't get paid to answer phones -- no, not specifically, but phones is part of his/her overall responsibilities, and added together with filing and note-taking and lots of other things, he/she does get paid for it.

"And you are wasting everyone else's time."

I submit stories which I think are amazing and need to be published. I read literary journals on a frequent basis, and subscribe to a few as well, in order to stay current on literary journals. Even though my acceptance/submission ratio is less than 1%, I'm doing the best that I can. My stories are literary, not commercial, so you can suck it if you think I'm not any good. Don't you dare tell me to quit. You don't know who I am and you don't know what I write and this kind of insolence toward the slush pile is intolerable.

I only wish you'd reveal what journal you worked for, so I could stop sending there.

John said...

Very first anonymous:

Since many Uni lit journals don't allow submissions from their own students, especially one working on the journal, your crazy theory breaks down.

Any writer out there that I find that's new (I'm also new on the scene) I don't consider them competition at all. I consider them an ally. If I accept them, I would strike up a relationships with them, make friends. I have done this in the past. It's nice to have writer friends.

That is actually how it works. First Anonymous is paranoid.

Anonymous said...

Ugh...what do you want from Prairie Schooner? Small literary journals with few readers get hundreds of submissions, mostly terrible, every month. Of course they send out short, generic rejections.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in this letter that communicates "Also, we are way out of your league." And why do the triangles necessarily represent dagger points? How about 27 deltas symbolizing gay rights? 27 symbols of the love triangle? A stylized diagram of ocean waves?

People, please send W/R some new material, because s/he is running out of interesting rejections.

heynonnynonymous said...

Anonymous at 2:35...get with the program.

Mister Electronic said...

Reading these comments is like accidentally walking into a farting contest. It's interesting for about ten seconds, but then you start feeling a little queasy. In my book, you're all winners!

Anonymous said...

Pissed, remember that overworked prof is clearly referring to publication credits that are directly redeemable as salary with the faculty comp committee. He does have a point on that; if you're enough of a doofus to submit to one of those journals that primarily publishes professors, you're kinda givin' it away, when everyone else is workin'. . .

John said...

Some paranoid dude above posted that "John" must have made up the post from overworked professor, and then John answered his own post. Not the case. Also, there's somebody posting with a Google/Blooger ID of John that is not John Bruce. There are wheels within wheels on the comments here, but I am not the first Blogger ID named John; nor am I the author of overworked prof's post.

I agree with those who suspect that some posts with multiple IDs come from the same person, though.

gimme said...

I can't believe you guys actually think that post was by a professor. The language completely gives it away.

Plus, there is no such thing as an "overworked prof". American university professors have the cushiest jobs on the planet, for chrissake. That's why writers have always gravitated towards the gig. Plenty of time to get into extramarital affairs with students and then write novels about them...

gimme said...

I can't believe you guys actually think that post was by a professor. The language completely gives it away.

Plus, there is no such thing as an "overworked prof". American university professors have the cushiest jobs on the planet, for chrissake. That's why writers have always gravitated towards the gig. Plenty of time to get into extramarital affairs with students and then write novels about them...

Anonymous said...

What do you do for a living, Gimme?

gimme said...

Sorry about the echo - dunno where that came from.

I've done a lot of things, 5:53, but, given that I intend to remain anonymous, I don't see the point in getting biographical. How would you know if I was telling the truth?

Cheers.

paranoianonymous said...

thanks gimme, i can't prove for sure that john bruce wrote the overworked prof comment, but that's exactly how i felt when i read the language. no english prof would be caught dead writing like that, even anonymously.

spoiler alert said...

everyday, barring weekends, it's going to be an image of a polite form rejection from a paying 1st or 2nd tier lit rag, some whiney woe-is-me comment from wr, followed by a barrage of semi-germane rants, conspiracy theories (actually my fave) and John comments.

i thought reruns didn't start until the summer. post something new and newsworthy, or quit posting wr. better yet, why don't you delete the blog and work on another book.

Anonymous said...

Gimme: I asked what you did for a living only so that I could make a sweeping generalization about your occupation, since sweeping generalizations seem to be your forte. Clearly, you didn't learn about logical fallacies in Comp 101, or is that you never made it as far as Comp 101 -- hence, your disdain for all things that smack of higher learning?

gimme said...

I think you might be confusing me with another poster, my friend. I'm not sure how you'd infer "disdain for higher learning" from any of my posts.

I stand by my statement that college professors have a tremendously easy time of it compared with most other jobs I can think of. Which is not to say I disparage the profession - I don't. For one thing it has historically provided financial stability for a lot of good writers who were otherwise utterly unemployable.

c. d. said...

Addressing John, who said the theory of the first anonymous poster breaks down.

I will not state my journal but will admit that the first poster was right. It's not referring to in-house competition. Competition in journals is fierce. Professors always try to get their best students in somewhere. But all their favors have to be returned. Many slots in the journal are filled well before anyone thinks about the slush. Slush comes last and is mostly an afterthought.

But I admit the slush can be very important. We might find a "name" in there and then we usually jump on it. (But even then we sometimes pass for any number of complex reasons.)

However, there is a certain protocol and the first anonymous post is kind of right. When you are dealing with so many up-and-coming writers, you don't want to give advantages to someone who might compete with you for journal space, awards, conferences, etc. You don't just read slush for the best writer. Far from it. You are looking for help yourself. Get it?

You green-light the bigger names who can help you later on. If you are a poet and you see a submission from a "name" then you quickly accept it, write the "name" a nice note, and then you can count that "name" as an ally.

But an up-and-comer in the same position you are, or worse a nobody, who knows what might happen when you give someone like that a break. Especially someone with no MFA or connection to academic life. Why on earth would I ever pull something from a person like that? It would give me nothing. Maybe I could become "pen pals"? Yeah right.

Anonymous said...

"Ugh...what do you want from Prairie Schooner?"

Courtesy and decency? Hard work and effort? And how about some courage thrown in the mix?


"Small literary journals with few readers get hundreds of submissions, mostly terrible, every month."

If it's so bad then why not close the call for submissions. If it's so terrible and it's so hard to deal with, why do it? Why not just solicity directly from friends at other school programs? Give me a break.

Prairie Schooner is on my Bad List because they refuse you to submit simultaneously. That's right, they demand exclusivity, they hold on to your manuscript for weeks and weeks on end, and they don't so much as put a pen mark on the cheap form rejection letter they send.

And really, while I can imagine that something like The New Yorker gets subliterate unpublishable scribblings from mentally unstable kooks, how many of those people are also sending to Prairie Schooner? Are they really getting all kinds of clearly "insane" manuscripts?

What about the good or excellent ones? If they're getting so much junk, they must also be getting a lot of work by serious writers. And they don't have the time to even scribble a line or two?

Aren't they professors? Aren't they smart? Don't they always talk about ethics and justice? Can't they think of a solution that is just and fair, an appropriate response to holding an exclusive for weeks on end? Like how about making a slip with a list of a dozen or two common points such as "great descriptions" or "not the kind of characterizations that we like" or whatever, and they could check a few of them off? Would that be too much trouble, to have them quickly flick their wrists while holding a pen, to have them quickly mark a little check box? Too much to ask?

If so you have to wonder. What do these people care about stories, culture, and publishing? What do they care about writers and writing?

The answer is absolutely nothing, if you're not enrolled in a program.

Anonymous said...

"i can't prove for sure that john bruce wrote the overworked prof comment, but that's exactly how i felt when i read the language."

To me, that's an endorsement for John's work.

Cuckoo for Coo-Coo Puffs said...

C.D.:

I don't believe you work at a journal, or ever have. You're just one of the anonymi on here trying to stir up trouble. I've worked, in various capacities, for a few journals, and I was always on the lookout for a good story, regardless of reputation, credentials, or academic pedigree. And I wasn't looking to help my own career, which is why your comment, C.D., reads like a fabrication. I've known dozens of slush pile readers over the years, and I don't know of anyone who would ever say something that ridiculous. Now, I realize that, because I'm going to remain anonymous, you can say the same thing about me, but several postings here (C.D.'s and Overworked Prof's) are too aggressive in ways that seem (in very unsubtle ways) to fan the fire already blazing on LROD; and yet the sentiments seem entirely inauthentic. In short, either someone on here who believes all this paranoia has created a persona that justifies his/her own existence, or someone is simply trying to stir up some shit.

John said...

Thanks, 9:59! Actually, I'm puzzled that some non-trivial percentage of the discussion here is about, not Prairie Schooner or how prestige journals pick their stories, but ME!!

nate said...

Oh yes, every journal is just looking for a great story. "Quite simply, the best writing that's available." We've heard it all before. Now we have candid admission that it's a crock. But some are still unwilling to believe.

Anonymous said...

Again, I don't understand why someone would find this rejection from Prairie Schooner discourteous. It's straightforward and to the point. And why would anyone assume that people at Prairie Schooner aren't working hard? Or are not courageous? So much of the anger and frustration expressed on this website seems to get projected on to particular journals, publishers, agents, academics, MFA programs, etc., but none of this is personal. The odds are against any one writer getting published at Prairie Schooner, and rejection from them should give you a twinge of disappointment, not a surge of rage and frustration.

Why shouldn't Prairie Schooner be able to set any policy they want about submissions? If you don't like their policy, don't submit there. Most places nowadays accept simultaneous submissions. I don't understand why anyone would waste time and energy being mad at a magazine about their submission policy.

Prairie Schooner is a really respected literary journal, and they are getting a ton of submissions from less-skilled writers. The New Yorker is just one magazine, and just because it's perceived as THE place to be published doesn't mean that magazines like Prairie Schooner are being skipped over by the mental cases.

When you submit to a magazine, you are sending your best work to be considered for publication. You are NOT sending your work to be EVALUATED. If you want comments on your work, go to a summer workshop, a low residency program, a good reader you can trust, etc. But I don't understand why everyone is so offended not to get comments on their work from magazine editors. That is not their job.

Someone once told me to take rejections at face value, and I think it's the healthiest way to go. If a letter says "we thank you for your submission and regret we can't publish it," you should believe that yes, they are grateful for your submission and yes, they do regret they can't publish it.

And I would just like to add that the anti-intellectual bias on this blog is an embarrassment. We are writers and we are supposed to be open-minded, imaginative, and tolerant. What is this bizarre hostility toward professors? They do work hard, are mostly underpaid, and certainly get their share of rejections.

This anti-intellectual stance is what got us eight years of George Bush. For serious writers to be dissing professors is madness. I hate to disappoint everyone, but there is no publishing cabal of professors and students. Yes, people help their best students get published...that's what mentors are supposed to do in any field. But there is always room for excellent work that is not championed by a big name. Everyone wants to discover an unknown talent.

mo said...

i guess they really don't want us. i guess it really is pointless to submit.

rethinking my strategies.......

Zoot Suit said...

Okay, since not everyone who submits to a magazine can get published in it -- it's statistically impossible -- what would you rather receive than a standard rejection? A three-piece band arriving at your door, playing a cheerful tune, and then a personal message from the editor about how much she thought your story sucked? I'm holding in my hands a copy of Prairie Schooner, Fall of 1985 (59:3). The first story in it is by Richard Russo (yeah, the guy who won the Pulitzer). Russo's first novel was published in 1986, a full year after his publication in PS. His bio reads, "Richard Russo teaches at Penn State University. His fiction is in MSS, Puerto dol Sol, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship to continue work on his novel." Again, please note: His publication in Prairie Schooner was a year before his novel was published, and given the lag-time in acceptance and publication, I seriously doubt he was under contract when the story was taken by PS. I'm sure everyone here will make their excuses or say that Russo is part of an MFA cabal, etc., but what the fuck...I figured I'd throw out something tangible rather than the usual speculation and paranoia.

curious jorje said...

c.d.

on average, what percentage of the journal is pre-filled by solicited works and traded publishing favors?

would you say that this kind of nepotism is more prevalent in poetry than in short fiction or creative nonfic?

not-hilda said...

Thank you, 12:28pm, for casting another illuminating glow on the insular, biased, one-sided and intolerant world of academia. We see right through you!

Anonymous said...

"what would you rather receive than a standard rejection?"

The point is, if an editor demands to see your stuff exclusively and keeps it locked up for weeks, you deserve more than a form letter. If they can't do that they shouldn't demand exclusive and hold it for weeks.

It's easy to make a form letter with a checkbox, as pointed out earlier. It's also easy to write a sentence or two. Commercial editors do it all the time. Don't the university teachers know how to do that? Or don't these "intellectuals" stoop down to writing personal letters to non-MFA people and Official Nobodies?


"a personal message from the editor about how much she thought your story sucked?"

That would be great but since these academic professor editors are overpaid and not courageous (see above), they would never do that. They would never write the truth. They would never write how they really felt. Nope. That they keep quietly to themselves. They promote from within. They play the game. They are part of the problem. But they will never tell a writer that his story sucked.

And besides, in the world of academia, there is no Truth. Didn't you know that? "It's all subjective!"


"His bio reads, ``Richard Russo teaches at Penn State University. His fiction is in MSS, Puerto dol Sol, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship to continue work on his novel.``"

Again, please note: it reads just like any academic bio in any academic journal today. 25 years, hasn't changed one bit. If you want in, you must play the game.


"His publication in Prairie Schooner was a year before his novel was published, and given the lag-time in acceptance and publication, I seriously doubt he was under contract when the story was taken by PS."

So what. He was a teacher. Not only that but he got a frickin Arts Fellowship to work on the novel. It was an academic shoo-in. Exactly the kind of thing PS dotes over. Outsiders not allowed. (And pointless anyway, since publication here is only for academics to give them raises and job security. Helped Professor Russo get kids through college himself, I'd suppose.) Don't you see?


"I'm sure everyone here will make their excuses or say that Russo is part of an MFA cabal, etc.,"

Well, he was certainly part of the academic Game, was he not? He might have talent, might be better than 95% of them, but he was still playn' the game, eh?

The point is not against Richard Russo, not at all. The point is that these academic journals are a game for Insiders, they proifit well by it. Outsiders are Not Wanted There and besides, even if they did get in, it would be an empty victory. You have no CV, you have no academic job so your Prairie Schooner credit will get you no raise. Sure won't get read by many people either. What the heck is the point ... yes, that's right, it's all a facade.


"-- but what the fuck..."

Watch your language. You're in public. Where's your courtesy? It's not classy to talk crud-- oh wait, nevermind, this fits right in with the academic mindset. ("Academic Commandment No. 3, Every story shall include Vulgarity.")


"I figured I'd throw out something tangible rather than the usual speculation and paranoia."

Thanks for the positive example of the insularity and favoritism as it reaches back 25 years. Also, btw, there is no paranoia in being a critic of academia or of the whole MFA - academic journal Establishment. It's just highly upsetting to the Powers That Be, is all, since they can't ignore the internet, so now they have to call us names.

But the anger persists, and it is Justified.

Zoot Suit said...

2:19

Boo fucking hoo.

Zoot Suit said...

To 2:19,

Boo f'in Hoo.


(Is that better, W/R?)

Skeptical said...

C.D.:

If it's really true that you worked at a literary journal, your experience does not represent most literary journals. Maybe poetry is such an insular world that you are constantly trading favors, but not so much in fiction. And maybe you are so narcissistic as to read the slush pile trying to help yourself (?!), but really, I doubt it.

All the readers I know, and all the journals I've read for, none of them have felt this way. You are, in short, an anomaly, not the status quo.

Anonymous said...

John, you are so frustrating.

I see you feature LROD in your blog today, talking about this and other recent threads.

You say: "One side of this discussion includes those who believe the only respectable place to get published is the literary journals (but who themselves, with one exception, have never been accepted in such journals)."

Sorry John, you must not have read these threads very closely. Several of us have spoken of several acceptances in the past year, in these journals. And some (myself included) have still disparaged these journals for their academic insider-ness, despite their acceptances of our work (they're trying to make it so that only the properly 'accredited' can be permitted to write and publish poetry and stories). But you forgot commercial magazines in your little blog rant. Some of us have those credits too, and value them much more than "placements" in academic journals nobody reads.


"They call those who publish in zines “hobbyists”"

That's right. I think it's the perfect name. You have a better name for it? Is it more than a hobby? Is it? (I asked once and you didn't answer; I'm asking again.)

Incidentally, those who publish in academic literary journals I call "professionals." Not professional writers, mind you, but professional acadmics. They are all "educators," ie MFA program teachers, and their journals exist only to perpetuate their programs (and their validity).

Want to read a perfect academic story? The kind of academic story that "the journals" just love? It's not like your college stories at all, John. Here it is: in the boston review right now. An MFA type teacher is leading an empty married life and is having sexual relations with a student!!!! Oh and her parents are dead and/or dying and live very far away from her!!!! Isn't that original? Please note the first comment in the story and who it is from. Looks like we have another academia-sanctioned "collection" in the works!!!!! See what you're missing out on, John....



"...when you consider that a postal submission, which the more respectable journals demand, runs around $5 for postage, stationery, and ink, it seems like these folks themselves have an expensive hobby, considering they never get anything from their submissions."

It's true, and when you consider that every journal editor in the US is about to add a payment button for online submissions, if you ask me it's basically over.

But what's the answer? I do not know. Your answer is to send your work to embarrasing zines. Ok fine, do that. But honestly John, will these zines ever rise you above the level of "hobby"?

Anonymous said...

Been following these threads.

Has it ever occurred to any of you that academia is well aware of what they are and what the situation is and they don't really care?

I think by charging e-fees now they are just rubbing it in our face.