December 09, 2011
Okay so this one was pretty funny. Since we started putting out Thrice it's been getting more and more attention from writers and that's the plan so it is a good thing. But you never sit in the editor's chair too long before you have a story to tell relative to the interaction between writers and editors, and as we approach our fourth issue (next March) I finally have one.
I got an email titled "Nevermind"** from a writer who didn't sign his or her name. It came in time stamped at 4:09 and reads, in its entirety;
"Can't even spare a contributor copy? Withdraw my submission from
consideration. I don't need any more glorious lines in my resume,
especially from fly-by-nights."
This was followed by another email time stamped at 4:12, also titled "Nevermind" which said only:
"Don't need any lines in my resume. Withdraw the recent submission."
There was no name attached to it, and no mention of what the title of the piece was. Well I am nothing if not careful with the intentions of artists, so I went through the entire collection of submissions sent to Thrice since we opened the submission process for issue #4 (happily, and somewhat astonishingly, there have been 14 submissions sent to us just in the last two days), looking for a match to the email address of the above emails.
Except there isn't one.
So probably I'm looking at someone who sent a submission with another email address, and then sent their withdrawal from a second email address. Very confusing. However not only am I careful with the sensibilities of artists, I am also prone to be thorough and polite. And so I dutifully responded with:
"Okay, but which one was yours? I don't seem to have one from this email
Short and sweet, no offense taken or even perceived. I am now awaiting reply.
The whole thing is a little screwy because anyone can download a free copy of the magazine to their Kindle, or as a pdf to their computer. The reference the writer, whoever he or she may be, is making is to a line in our submission policy that says "all we can give you right now is a glorious line in your resume" which, I think most anyone would agree, is - if not funny in and of itself - said kind of funny in a self-deprecating kind of way. No?
Anyhow this sets up an interesting scenario. Let's say the writer doesn't respond. Say he or she was drunk when they sent that email and - upon more sober reflection - they don't own up to sending it. And then let's say in my list of accepted stories I happen to like the one he or she sent and dutifully inform them of the fact that they'll be in issue #4. How much would you want to bet that that offended individual wouldn't happily accept our acceptance without any mention of the withdrawal?
I'll tell you what you'd want to bet - nothing. Because their offended nature will heal with the words "we would like to use your story in the next issue..."
And - barring that - if the person tells me which is his or her story, I'll be more than happy to delete it. One less decision to make.
Either way, this is an easy fix.
Maybe I was born to do this?
** technically the words never and mind joined into one word are only correct in slang applications, as in "pay him no nevermind." It's patois only. Legitimate, certainly, but not entirely right in this case. Nevermind is a band, and can also be a condition, but to just say "nevermind" you should really write it as "never mind." But never mind.