Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crazyhorse (Lazyman) Rejection

From a loyal anonymous reader in today's mailbag:

This rejection confused me at first because I couldn't recall sending in a regular submission to Crazyhorse. Then I got to the second paragraph remembered that I entered their short story contest back in December. I'm not one to complain about form rejections, but it seems extra lazy to not even bother to separate their regular submissions and contest entry rejections. Is is that difficult to send the appropriate rejection based on how the writer submitted? Plus, everyone *knows* that the lines "We received many fine entries" and "We hope you submit again" are just smoke up our asses, but when they're grouped together in two separate rejection options, it looks even more ridiculous.cThis strikes me as being almost as clueless as New Millennium being "unable" to tell you which of your stories was a finalist in their contest.

Dear [Writer],
Thank you for sending your manuscript "Title of Story" to us here at Crazyhorse via the online submission manager. We are sorry this particular manuscript was not selected for publication in Crazyhorse. We hope you will send us another soon, though. We could not publish Crazyhorse without the fine writing submitted to us. While we regret that the large number of submissions we receive makes it difficult for the editors to respond personally, we want to emphasize that an editor personally read your manuscript. Devoted reading is part of the Crazyhorse editorial mission; it is also our own personal one. If this manuscript was a prize entry: we are sorry this prize entry was not selected for the Crazyhorse fiction or poetry prize or for publication in Crazyhorse. We receive many fine prize entries, so it was a difficult decision to make. Thank you for sending us your manuscript to read, and thank you for supporting the nonprofit Crazyhorse with your entry's subscription. By the end of May we will announce the prize winners and finalists on the Crazyhorse website, by e-mail list, and by SASE if you included one with your entry. Thank you for supporting the journal with your reading, writing, and subscribing,
The Editors


Anonymous said...

Frankly, I see no problem with this. Just playing devil's advocate here, if I'm Crazy-H and I'm rejecting a piece via form, why should I send a different letters for contests and regular subs? It is much more efficient to have one letter that covers both cases. If I don't want the piece, I don't want the piece.

A fair criticism is that I should have faster turnaround, but the two-for-one letter does a fine job of informing you that your piece will not be published in the next issue. Isn't that the point of a rejection letter?

Anonymous said...

This one size fits all rejection raises the potentially troubling issue of how Crazyhorse preserves the writer's anonymity for the contest entries. The contest is supposed to be judged blindly, whereas with regular submissions the writer's name is known. Now that I've read this rejection letter, I'm wondering how Crazyhorse manages to honor this distinction. Not that it isn't honored. I'm just saying that it seems a little dicey from the dual rejection. Also, as a matter of good PR, I do like my contest fee appreciated with a tailored rejection letter offering up some kind words that aren't given for general subs. I'm picky that way.

secret sauce said...

don't enter contests with fees unless you know a judge or the magazine staff personally. follow that simple rule you won't get your panties in a wad about the specificity of the form letter. if you are concerned that the contest is not judged blindly, you should be, because most are not.

snoekbrown said...

I swear, every time I get a rejection I think of sending it to you, and then I check the blog and find out it's already here. Either I'm sending you stuff in my sleep, or we all need to diversify our submissions lists!

Big fan of the blog. Keep this stuff coming.