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Monday, November 26, 2007

Dan Lazar Wants Magic

A reader sent this line in from a rejection by Dan Lazar who is an agent and all-around nice guy at Writer's House: "I'm afraid this one isn't striking hard enough magic with me." (The writer adds, "And I don't write fantasy OR magic realism." )

Though I respect Dan, I'm thinking striking hard enough magic with me may really take the cake for weird rejection language. Maybe he was having an off day, or maybe one gets bored of the usual love-romance-dating metaphors after the thousandth rejection letter.


x said...

Magic, now? I'm feeling pretty hopeless. Was reader the submissions requirements over at Benjamin Chambers' bloggeries from comments on the previous post and was shocked at the extreme language used about not accepting any material you even posted some part of on your blog. I think of my blog as my sketch area. I try out some pieces or parts of pieces I hope to publish. He claims ALL journal are rigid about this? Is this true? This is basically a Pre-Submission Rejection that I find extremely disconcerting as a novice blogger who loves it, is not commercial, and now makes me feel I have to choose between publishing on my blog of five readers or the New Yorker. Is this true? Please, please post on this. I think it's creepy myself.

x said...

Sorry for all the typos. I was just in a state of horror.

Anonymous said...

Dan is just going through a phase all boys do, the magic kit stage. Underneath all that literary savvy, his subconscious is saying, Presto! Bad story disappears!

And he has subliminally attempted to convey this to his rejectee, who of course didn't understand it. Soon, Dan will return to the more adult rejection, the romantic one that "grasps," and "captures."

Anonymous said...

Yes, TIV, you cannot submit work you have published on your Web site to Benjamin's magazine.

But this is all right, because I personally find the use of the word "novellae" annoying.

You raise an interesting point, though, because I haven't seen this strict a guideline elsewhere, probably because the gray area of blogging is still somewhat off the radar of most magazines. I do think we will see more of it in the future, however.

(Self)publish or perish in the slush, it appears.