Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An Irritated Dame

FROM AN LROD MOUSE: Background on this rejection: I sent the submission in on November 7, 2011. Notre Dame Review doesn't allow for simultaneous submissions (which I totally ignore) and they didn't have a way to withdraw the story online or email an editor when the story in question was accepted elsewhere. So, I decided to try to do the right thing anyway, called their office directly, and spoke to an extremely irritated man who snapped that they'd rummage through the pile for my work throw it out. Well, I guess not, since today - over five months later - I got this:

Rejection: Dear Author, Thank you for your contribution to The Notre Dame Review. We regret that we are unable to use it for our publication. We are pleased that you chose to send your work to us for consideration. Best of luck to you in your writing.Sincerely, The Editors
If you've ever been in one of those review offices, you know they are a total mouse's nest of unread stories, envelopes piled to the ceiling, though know is it email piled to the cyber-ceiling?  I'm not sure. 


Anonymous said...

The don't disallow sim subs either, according to their own website and duotrope. I suppose they want to you snail mail your withdrawal. Oh, and I always sim sub too, unless their editors/readers respond quickly.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. The same thing happened to me this week with the William and Mary Review.

I sent them a story (hard copy) in January 2011. It was accepted for publication elsewhere, in March 2011. That very day, I sent a follow-up withdrawal letter to William and Mary, and the piece was subsequently published in a legit print journal last December.

Yesterday, some FOURTEEN MONTHS LATER, they sent me a letter declining the story. In the meantime, I had already sent them another story. I have no idea about the status of that one. I'd like to withdraw it because of the way the previous submission was handled, but there's no way to contact the editors via e-mail, and they obviously don't pay attention to their postal mail.

What are students learning at these university lit mags? What are professors teaching them? To be slobs? That the publishing industry will gladly tolerate mediocrity and sub-par work? At some point they will all have to work in real jobs where this crap isn't tolerated.

And what about having respect for the fact that one of the very few triumphs a writer gets is writing a withdrawal letter?

Pathetic. Shame on you Notre Dame, and shame on you William and Mary.

one who used to intern at an upper tier uni lit mag said...

Unfortunately, the editors and office managers of these uni lit mags are not MFA students. MFA students who work at upper tier uni lit mags only read or maybe take part in some editorial discussions. The people who are in charge of keeping records and sending replies are permanent office staff and tenured faculty who have long since stopped giving a f**k. In short, students are not learning anything about how to run a magazine because they usually aren't the ones running it.

Staffers may also be readers, I don't know, every staff is structured differently. But they have their sinecure and it's expected of them to treat the slush pile with disdain since half or more of the pieces the magazine publishes comes from solicitations or scratch-my-back favors between professors trying to promote each other's students. All they need to do is collect their biweekly or monthly paycheck from the university.

Also, the slush pile is HUGE. Still, I don't think it would take more than 3 days for a typical uni journal to sort it all into trash bins and form rejection piles and send out responses. I hear Subtropics has replaced their slush readers with an industrial shredder. That works too.