Friday, December 16, 2011

Eat That, Mcsweeney's

From an LROD reader:
Do you still want rejections from anonymice? Do you care anymore?*Last Friday I got an email from the folks at Epiphany saying they were accepting a story and that it was going to press Monday. Okay. Great. Wham, bam. I scrambled around to the various places I'd simultaneously submitted, trying to figure out the best way to withdraw the story. Turns out online submissions, which make submitting so gloriously easy, are not all so easily withdrawn. In any case, I sent an email to some virtual soul at McSweeney's telling them to please withdraw my story, and I was sorry, and all that...and not twelve hours later I got their standard rejection. How do you like them apples?!
* Of course I do. I care very deeply.


Anonymous said...

No way is that a coincidence, it's clearly a case of the famous McPeenis ego feeling the need to say: "Nuh-uh, I'M breaking up with YOU."

Boris said...

Sort of on topic, what is the deal with the high percentages of author withdrawals in Duotrope stats? It can't be acceptances (can it?) and the average time on the withdrawals means it isn't that the mags took too long. What are you other people doing? Do that many people reread their story and think it's crap that needs to be hidden from editorial review?

Anonymous said...

This message is in response to Boris'.
As for myself, (and in all honesty it has to be pointed out that I developed this attitude only after my first book (poetry) was accepted for publication and is now forthcoming in late February 2012), I do not rush to withdraw my poems from other magazines and journals, or even competitions for that matter. Just recently a handful of poems that will be in my second collection were accepted at a very nice university journal. One of those poems is still out at something like 5 journals and 2 or 3 competitions. My only real concern is with contacting the competitions to eliminate any crucial errors should the piece be accepted as the prizewinner. That type of situation should be avoided for courtesy's sake. Yes, that would be messy and troublesome, to say the least. The law of averages that the piece you are sending out will be simultaneously accepted elsewhere is essentially low. In my experience, when a second journal has accepted a submission which was very recently accepted at a first journal, I just contact the second journal with a sincere note of thanks but that the piece was just picked up elsewhere. I believe I have written also that I intend to send further pieces to their journal, something along those lines.... Nevertheless, my point is, the 4 times this has occurred to me, each editor/journal has been nothing but pleased for the circumstances, and generous with their returned appreciation. There is an unspoken understanding that nobody has that much time to waste, particularly writers. Perhaps some magazines/journals institute the "no simultaneous submissions" policy only for administrative reasons. Who knows? I've learned this key thing: Don't take anything personally but the work you make. That part you guard with your life, and don't get hung up on the other parts. That's it. So, maybe that'll help your understanding with where most editors' heads are at. Onward! CSE

Anonymous said...

According to Duotrope, McSweeney's has been "reviewing" some poor sod's story for 856 days. You could do a lot in that amount of time. You could have two babies. You could start a war. If you were Kim Kardisian, you could get married and divorced like 12 times.

Maybe that person kicked the bucket and neglected to tell McSweeney's. Da noive!

j said...

That might actually be my story...I submitted something to McSweeney's in August 2009 back when I used Duotrope in addition to my own record-keeping system. And according to this calculator there are 856 days between today and August 14, 2009.

To this day I've never rec'd a response from McS and I never bothered to contact them in 2010 when the story was accepted elsewhere, since I figured it was an implied rejection at that point.

Somewhere along the way I stopped using Duotrope and forgot my username and password, so I've never been able to log in and fix that.

Anonymoose said...

So funny, all of this. I mean, really, in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, I'm the one who sent the withdrawal to McSweeney's and got the prompt rejection. I'm interested in CSE's approach, though, as I've twice had stories accepted simultaneously. One editor (Nimrod, a number of years ago) was in fact quite gracious about it, but another was much less so. Thus, the mad but probably unnecessary dash this time to CMA.

Anonymous said...

Hello writer rejected no more!

CONGRATS on the NYT piece. It's beautiful. It's so utterly moving and natural, it reads quickly but it's so memorable. I love love love the last image - hope. There is a psychoanalyst writer you might want to read: Martha Stark, on "relentless hope", as experienced by children of rejecting parents. Good luck. Can't wait to buy a copy of your book.