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Monday, March 14, 2011

Cross 'em off the list


photo by CarbonNYC

A while back, I wrote an article for a writer’s newsletter.  Before submitting it, I queried the editor.  I waited the obligatory month as indicated and to my dismay, I received no word.  Then I mustered the courage to send the editor a polite follow-up email. Still, no word.  And yet all I wanted was an e-mail that simply stated:  no thank you.  I hate to admit it, but this has happened to me twice—with the same editor.  I should’ve listened to my gut instincts.  But I was willing to try her one more time.  Maybe my emails got spammed. 

The same scenario happened to me with another editor, but with different results.  After emailing her over the period of a year, she finally responded to me, accepted my work, and published it.  But, I vowed I wouldn’t submit to her again.  She was unorganized and the effort I put into contacting her repeatedly wasn’t worth my time.  I should’ve submitted my work elsewhere, where it would’ve been published sooner.  

Editor etiquette varies from publication to publication.  Most magazine editors will contact an author when they aren’t interested in a submission.  However, there are a few that have a different style.  I call them “the silent type.”  While I could view this as a negative experience, I choose to think of it as a good thing.  I now know that I’m wasting my time submitting to this silent editor.  And all is not lost.  I’ll find a home for my article.  I’ll look into new markets.  Or, I'll submit to the editors with whom I've worked with, those who respect me and will get back to me in a timely fashion.  As for my silent editor, I bear no harsh feelings.  It’s just the way she does business.  And I don’t have to do business with her.  I’ve finally learned that it’s time to move on and cross her off my list.

What are your thoughts when an editor fails to respond to you?

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