December 09, 2011

A Look Behind The Scenes At The Editor's Office

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
addy. Thanks."

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.


Dave2 said...

You really WERE born to do this!

So we're a fly-by-night? Should we be looking into starting up a new magazine after this one shuts down tomorrow? I'd have thought that making it through a year while still going strong would disqualify us as a fly-by-night, but it's good to know.

When you have a minute, could you please figure out where the money for "contributor copies" comes from when we give the magazine away for free, don't add a markup to the printed copy, don't yet have any ads, and donate our time? I guess "labor of love" is just too radical a concept to comprehend anymore? How sad is that?

Gino said...

"Nevermind" is not a band but the second album released by Nirvana, and should be on your list of "25 albums you have to have if you are have anything at all."

and thanks for the english lesson. now i will remember it and not make that mistake again.

sybil law said...

Nevermind is also a great song by Nirvana from the album of the same name, but Gino, there is some touring cover band of Nirvana touring as Nevermind.
Anyway, that person sounds uptight and entitled- AKA douche -like.
You're right, though - easy fix. :)

SK Waller said...

"What a maroon." Bugs Bunny

We know he meant moron, but nevermind. Real writers don't have time to write thumbsucking, sour grapes-drenched emails that can't be identified or followed up. Screw him/her.

RW said...

Dave - I'm starting to doubt he or she even sent something. Or, in any case, technically challenged I guess.

gino - it's okay to use in slang, so it would fit just about anywhere in your life. :-)

sybil - It was good for a laugh this morning.

Steph - We both can remember a time when we would have been happy to GIVE it away just to get published. The person just doesn't get the concept I think.

B.E. Earl said...

I was gonna cop to it, but then I felt ashamed for having not written anything worth submitting. Nevermind. Hehehe.

B.E. Earl said...

@Sybil - I don't recall any song from Nirvana titled Nevermind. It's definitely not on the same titled album. There is the lyric in "Smells Like Teen Spirit":

"I found it hard, it's hard to find
Oh well, whatever, nevermind"

Brian said...

I'm sorry for emailing you drunk, RW.