Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No, Your Computer is Not Rejecting Me

Says the anonymous LROD reader who sent in the rejection above: "I don't usually feel like any rejection I receive is all that interesting, but there is something about this rejection from Meridian struck me as especially impersonal. It feels absurdly automated; the computer has to speak to me first and let me know that, not the editor, but "an editor," reached a decision. There is no pretense that an actual human being might be responding to me. Not even a "Dear Writer," or a "Sincerely, the Editors at Meridian." I don't mind short and to the point, but some sort of pretense that this is an actual correspondence and not just a canned reply would be nice." 

11 comments:

Native Ink said...

I love the "personal" comment from the editor which is really just total boilerplate crap. I have a story under consideration at Meridian right now. It'll be interesting to see if I get an identical response.

Anonymous said...

No pretense is more honest. Better yet, magazines should not accept unsolicited manyscripts, or put their real restrictions on their guidelines, for all to see.
Less hypocrisy, more honesty.

Native Ink said...

Over on duotrope, there are a half dozen recent rejections listed from Meridian. Most of the writers logged their rejections as personal. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, off topic...
I stopped paying attention to Duotrope's personal/form distinction when I noticed how many people report getting personal McSweeney's rejections. I think many novice writers who use Duotrope don't know the difference; any correspondence that includes their first name and tielt of piece is personal.

CAPS MAN! said...

THESE GUYS AT MERIDIAN ARE J*RKS. WHAT MAKES IT WORSE IS THAT MANUSCRIPTHUB.COM, WHERE THIS REJECTION COMES FROM, EVEN HAS AN OPTION WHERE YOU don't GET A REJECTION. YOU JUST GET A POSTING THAT SAYS "NOT ACCEPTED." MY 15 DOLLAR FEE TO ENTER BLACK WARRIOR REVIEW AND MERIDIAN'S CONTESTS BOUGHT ME MORE THAN THAT, SURELY.

wretched offspring of duotrope and submissions manager said...

UUGGGHHH! What is this thing? Are litmags and writers seriously using this system?

Here's what they say:

"We’re lit journal people, too!
Jeb serves as series editor for Best New Poets and faculty advisor to Meridian, and Matt has worked for a number of literary journals, most recently as editor of Meridian. We started ManuscriptHub because we wanted to accept online submissions for Meridian, but could no longer afford our database provider."

So they can't afford the CLMP's submissions manager, and they designed a free system for other cheapskate litmags to use, ok fine, that's very generous. But why are they charging writers for it? As if we have any more money than a fancy-prancy magazine has, ha! Our labor is what keeps you in print, Matt and Jeb, don't forget it. No way and no thanks.

Lit J said...

It's so impersonal because of all the symbols that acompanied my Meridian rejection. [ * > <

Makes it feel computer-like.

And, btw, I did get a personal rejection, saying they liked my story and wanted to see more.

Anonymous said...

[i]Better yet, magazines should not accept unsolicited manyscripts, or put their real restrictions on their guidelines, for all to see.[/i]

Do you HONESTLY believe that most magazines don't publish slush? Outside of like the New Yorker who maybe publishes one piece of slush per decade, every other magazine publishes slush quite regularly and most are made entierly (or almost entirely) of slush submissions.

dung said...

anon 5:29

if the universe of discourse is every single lit mag that exists-- from the flightiest-by-night webzine with a duotrope listing, to Narrative, to the New Yorker--then yes, i agree that most publish their slush.

but if we just consider the good litmags--the paying ones--then no, i disagree that a good portion of their issues are slush. in general, paying lit mags solicit at a rate proportional to how much they pay. the ones that pay the most solicit the most.

it's just my observation. you are free to type at me and say i'm wrong and a stupidhead.

Anonymous said...

I have just decided NOT to submit this year to Best New Poets. I am totally put off by this method of submitting. It must be nice for the someone who is making money on everybody's submissions now. I'm very glad that poetry pays so well, I've been putting my poetry payments into my 401k, and every $2 helps. Also, I'm not comfortable loading my work into some third party database.

golublog said...

this one is particularly depressing.