Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Dear Pretentious Literary Journal"

I guess he told them off but good. Six years! That's got to be a record.

8 comments:

Steve said...

I'm sorry but that post just makes the writer look small. I'd have thought getting a rejection letter six years later would call for humor. I mean, damn, who cares about literary journals--online, print, or otherwise? Send your story elsewhere, dude. Move on. Your sounding remarkably close to an Alanis Morisette song, and in my own experience I know that whenever that happens (whenever life is like a bad 90s pop-angst song) the problem is usually with me.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but it will be awesome when all lit journals are online so, you know, you could actually direct people to your pubbed stories and someone might actually read them.

Anonymous said...

Amazing, but I agree with Steve. I would have written back with, "are you interested in looking at anything I've done in the past 6 years?" Or even "can you look at it again?" ha.

Anonymous said...

That was awesome.

bookfraud said...

well, at least they got back to him, even if he does sound a mite bitter. i think it took obama's election to make them send it. you know, fear of dick cheney and all that.

cog said...

If online lit mags could get financial backing from arts councils and universities, as many pretentious print lit mags do, then online journals could afford to pay their contributors. And if online journals could pay their contributors, online publishing credits would be perceived as prestigious as print credits, in the eyes of agents and editors.

It's simple psychology, people don't esteem something that is free or cheap. I learned this years ago when I tutored, that the more I charged, the more clients I got.

As it is, writers depend on pretentious print lit mags for resume-worthy pub credits. One story in Univerity in the Middle of the Country Review is equal to twenty stories in online journals where writers don't get paid and readers don't have to pay. I wish agents and editors did not have this bias, but this is what you face if you want to move up. Bash them all you want, but they are still the biggest game.

Steve said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't this blog pretty much illustrate the idea that "moving up" is a suckers bet in the writer's game? Write something that gets an agent's attention, that rocks the f-ing house, and it doesn't matter that you've been published in a lit mag, online or otherwise. You could be some obscure dude in Sweden writing crime novels in your spare time. Doesn't matter.

But please, please, for the love of Jeebus, don't spend your life grasping for the external validation that is the ridiculous world of lit mag publishing. Send out all you want, get published, have fun with it and celebrate your success: just don't view it as anything more than what it is, a masturbatory country club of pretend accomplishment. Otherwise, you'll spend precious time that could be spend writing, drinking or screwing (or raising a family) on being angry about six year old rejections. Waste. Of. A. Life.

Damnit, aren't we writers supposed to be examining life, living life, loving life, instead of squandering it over lame-ass rejections by people who don't even know?

Kay said...

I think he did move on! But how fun to let the journal know how miserably they failed in their job. As my oldest son says frequently "FAIL".