17 March 2007

More on Rejections

A couple more things about Electric Spec rejections I would add to Bet's excellent post. Electric Spec's "standard" rejection letter is writer friendly, IMHO. We do that for a several reasons. First, most of the stories we get are pretty good, or at least have some bright spots that make us think the author has potential. We know it's hard being a writer and even harder getting a rejection, so we don't want to rub salt in the wound with a discouraging rejection e-mail. Instead, we mean it when we say we want to look at something else from the author it they think it would be a good fit. (This does NOT mean we want to see your trunk stories that have been rejected by everyone else!) Second, we recognize that considering stories is a very subjective process. One editor may love what another one hates. Third, we don't want to leave a bad taste in a future author's mouth. It's bad enough getting a rejection, but if the rejection is nasty, you're unlikely to be motivated to submit to that 'zine again (unless, perhaps, they pay lots of $$, which E-Spec does not).

At times (very rarely), I will add an encouraging p.s. to stories that stand out but are not really right for us. Other times (even more rarely) I will take out the nice, encouraging parts out of our standard rejection. I only do this when it appears from the story that author is clueless about how to write a story or lacks a basic understanding of English.

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