fibitz (fibitz) wrote,

Worse than Rejection

I don't mind rejections, but what I can't stand are non-reponses. One of my perennial New Year's resolutions is to remember to send inquiries to the places that have grossly exceeded their stated response time, and withdrawals to the folks that don't respond to inquiries. There's really no excuse for this. If nothing else, they should have a convenient stock response that can be pasted in, like "we expect to be through with our backlog by Feb 1" or whatever. And then, of course, THIS SHOULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN.

It has become apparent with the success of many iniquitous practices within the field of literature that there is an ample supply of folks so desperate to be published that they will suffer through ridiculous delays and any amount of abuse. At least 35% of my poem submissions result in acceptances (now if only that were true for the short stories ...), and I send to good places. That means I'm in a position to tell those editors that don't treat writers or their inquiries with respect to shove it. There are a lot of markets out there, and more start up all the time.

If more writers were less tolerant of abusive editorial practices, these places would have to shape up, or see their slushpile composition change to 99%—or even 100%—crud, as the better writers stopped submitting there. I've got to admit I've been remiss in reporting my own stats to Duotrope (and what do they consider an unrealistic acceptance ratio?) or the Black Hole—that's one of the '09 resolutions as well.

Speaking of which, one of my '08 non-responder submission-query-withdrawal sequences was Brutarian. I understand from corresponding with Ralan that the editor deliberately maintains an extremely aggressive spam filter to prevent the number of submissions he has to deal with from becoming excessive—and screw those who wait and wait and never hear back. I think that this is a destructive and predatory practice. I'm disappointed that SFWA would consider it an approved market—doesn't treatment of writers play any part in their rating system? It should.
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