Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gargoyle: "More Lesbian Sex Please" (Less Story)

From the mail bag today, an anonymous(e) writes to tell about a rejection received from Gargoyle, noting that the literary magazine is apparently edited by a gargoyle: I sent a story to Gargoyle yesterday, (the story features a lesbian protagonist) and got this reply this morning. "I want more about the women and their sexual encounter. All the backstory just took the NOW out of it for me. I'd rethink this angle." (Do you think by "took the NOW out" he meant "kept me from climaxing"?) Perhaps there are a few other mags he should consider if he wants all sex, no context. 

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

There have been a lot of reports of strange Gargoyle rejections floating around the net. I received one myself, but don't want to out myself. I'll just say that the editor has been responding within days, sometimes on the same day, with some very odd comments, in addition to "suggestions" for where to send the story. Dude must have a lot of free time on his hands, or has become addicted to being able to use Submission Manager (I think Gargoyle recently added SM).

Hymen Vagistein said...

People here gripe forever about the lack of comments from literary magazines. Gargoyle is sending out comments and insight into your work and now you're complaining about that.

Nothing in that editor's comment suggests he wants you to submit porn. It suggests he wants you to focus on the immediate action of the story and take out the boring backstory you're using as a shortcut to developing character and poignancy.

You deserve a form letter if all you're going to do when you receive feedback is resort to petty defensiveness about "context."

Writer, Rejected said...

Hey, we complain about more than just not getting comments. We complain about the actual comments too, especially when they are suspect.

Jason Jordan said...

I've only submitted to Gargoyle once. I honestly didn't understand my personal rejection. I wish I'd kept it, but I didn't, nor can I remember much of what was said. It didn't strike me as constructive, though. I typically prefer form rejections anyway.

Anonymous said...

"People here gripe forever about the lack of comments from literary magazines. Gargoyle is sending out comments and insight into your work and now you're complaining about that."

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I posted the first comment on this thread. Just in case you were including me in your response, let me state that an editor who goes out of his way to provide comments on almost every single submission opens himself up to this sort of thing—so get over it, “Hymen.”

Also, as someone who has worked "on the other side," I do not think it's wise for an editor to personalize every other rejection; you can’t convince me that such a method serves any useful purpose, considering the amount of crap that’s submitted to journals. Now his inbox will be inundated with responses from wannabees and hacks. Why in the world would an editor want to create correspondence with such writers? I think it’s pretty stupid, but hey, like I said, maybe he has a lot of free time on his hands.

Finally, you shouldn't assume that all of us would rather have personalized rejections. I'd rather have a form rejection, because the only thing that matters anyway is the "no."

Hymen Vagistein said...

You see these as a "personalized rejections" that encourage "wannabes and hacks" (I assume you aren't including yourself in that characterization). I see it as polite feedback. To each his own. Either way it's unfair to paint the guy as a pervert or a pig.

Anonymous said...

wannabees and hacks and hymens oh my!...why does every other debate devolve into some anonymous calling everyone a wannabee and hack? if writing is a craft that takes practice to develop, then doesn't almost everyone start out as a wannabee and/or hack?

if you are so famous and talented, why the hell are you wasting time commenting on this blog? you should be having wine and cheese with edgarian and jenks.