Thursday, June 11, 2009

Some writer-related miscellany

Today I offered publication to a few writers for stories in upcoming issues, mostly in #9 and a couple for #10. As I get contracts back, I'll add links for anyone who provides the info to the M-Brane writers list (right-hand column, down below my profile and the archive). I already added a link to Mari Kurisato, whose eerie tale "Lurker" is forthcoming in issue #9. She is a writer and a visual artist who has a pretty fancy site nowadays. Her story caused me to spend some time on Wikipedia learning about hikikomori. I also realized that I had neglected to add Neil Colquhoun, whose short story "Machine" is coming in issue #8. He's on the list now, so go check out his blog, because there is all kinds of interesting stuff there. 

As writers who have received rejection notes from me lately know, I have had to take the unfortunate step of going to a generic form reply on those and have dispensed entirely with making specific, personalized comments on these stories as I used to always do. I sort of had a love/hate relationship with those notes anyway: I loved communicating individually with the writers, especially if I thought I had something to say that might help them or their stories...but I also hated saying "no" and having to explain why, especially in cases where the story was just fine but just not one that I wanted for some inarticulable reason. A few days ago, I had a stack of about two dozen rejections that needed to go out and I finally just said "screw it, they're getting a form letter." That cut away at least a couple hours from the process for me, time dearly needed. So if you're one of those writers reading this post now, sorry, but that's how it is now with the current, larger volume of mss coming in.

While I'm talking about rejections, I want to say that in the time I have edited M-Brane I have not one time ever received any sort of unprofessional or rude reply to a rejection from a writer. I read all the time on Twitter and on publishing blogs a lot of anecdotes from editors and agents talking about crazy behavior from writers. I'm very happy that people who want to publish in M-Brane don't act like that, and I hope that this new level of impersonality that I am creating with the form rejection doesn't change that.

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Rick Novy said...

Yeah, you only get crude replies to acceptances.

Merc said...

I can actually sympathize more with editors who use forms than I used to... it sucks sometimes, but it's completely understandable for time-saving, etc. Feedback is nice, but really, when you look at it from the perspective of "critiquing" hundreds of subs (or more) a month, yow. I'd probably go for efficiency too.

Glad submitters to M-BRANE so far have been good about taking rejection, that's always nice to hear (writers acting professional).

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that people are taking rejection well - it doesn't pay to be rude. My Dad used to say, "Don't burn your bridge..." - how true is that saying?

Thanks for putting a link to my blog on your site.

Keep up the good work with the magazine.

Anonymous said...

Of course now that you've said it, stand by. :)


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