Bitching about subs yet again

Why is it ok to say “Don’t contact us to see where we’re at with your sub until after 4 months – then feel free to query if we have misplaced it.”

What the fuck is that about?

It’s like saying, send in your writing, we may or may not read it, don’t dare bug us though until 4 months have passed. And y’know, this is a non-paying online deal. Grr.

Anyway, via Matt Bell’s blog I read this post by Blake Butler:

If you have a journal already, respond faster. Pay attention to your inbox. When someone asks a question that feels dumb or unnecessary maybe, answer it anyway. Don’t be a fuck. Yeah, we’re all busy. Yeah, things take time. Work to take less time. It’s okay to move forward at a wicked pace. (And yes, as an editor, I too struggle to adhere to this advice, but I struggle at least, everyone struggles, but you can always struggle more. I am so tired of seeing journals with 200+ days response time, why do you even exist? Does it really take that long to like something? People should stop sending to these places. Seriously. Just stop sending.

Yeah I know the flood comes strong. Stand in the flood. (Me too.))

Seriously, Conjunctions/Ninth Letter/Subtropics: these 3 journals get just as much work coming in as anybody, and they all respond often in less than a month.

To everyone: Push the fucking envelope even harder than you do. Be an open node.


I am amazed sometimes by people who want to be writers and yet seem to know little to nothing about even the more popular journals, who don’t read that actively, who don’t buy literary magazines hardly ever but send out their own work constantly, who don’t buy even their friends work, who etc etc. Then they want to turn around and call anyone with any stripe of ‘success’ a ‘secret handshake motherfucker’ or ‘in crowd’ or anything like that.

There are people who don’t even answer their emails when they get those ‘I like your work’ mails, which really blows my mind some. You’re just typing into a keyboard like the rest of us. Don’t be Richard Ford spitting on Colson Whitehead. Don’t be a turd person.

Getting involved is being involved, and if you aren’t actively promoting others, I don’t know why in hell you’d think anyone would ever want to read or support you.

I didn’t mean to get into ranting, I really didn’t, I had no specific person in mind when I thought of all that, but I know there are tons of writers out there who don’t do even a 100th of the amount of work spreading the word as they do trying to pimp their own stuff.

I am happy to know the people I do who do so much everyday.

And yet everyone (me included, I am above none of this, though I try) can do more, and if you want to BE more yourself, you SHOULD, even if its just something tiny like a mention of work you liked, or an email, or an idea, or looking, talking, thinking, shitting, causing trouble, laughing, responding.

How cool is that? And yeah, I do try to say whoo, I liked this or that, and I do buy small lit mags, review books I read, link to peeps, but I could do more, much more, I could get more involved, absolutely.

4 thoughts on “Bitching about subs yet again”

  1. Abso- fucking-lutely. I am astonished at the rudeness from some lit mags. I subbed two flashes to an online mag, got an email saying they weren’t interested in one of them, politely queried as to whether they were still considering the second flash. No reply. 3 months later… nothing. “Assumed” rejection. I withdrew a story from a Canadian “quirky” online mag after no response for 4 months. No acknowledgement of my withdrawal. I saw through Duotrope that they had started responding to submissions so I wrote again to check they had received my withdrawal email. I got a one word email back:GOTCHA! What the fuck does that mean? Bloody rude. Not quirky at all. How hard is it to drop someone a civil email?

  2. I think your stuff was the best in Cella’s and just nominated it for a Best of the Web award.I shit u not. And luck. And keep on keeping the

  3. Tania – I hear ya! It is really rude. And whilst the work is with them being ignored it can’t be elsewhere. There’s definitely something wrong with the system as it stands. I guess there are so many people trying to write and sub that the power all lies with the mags. Sigh. Even just a “Look, sorry, we are humans and we are snowed under but will get back to you” would suffice sometimes because it acknowledges that they know there is a person waiting to hear.sloth – wow, I don’t know what to say. Thank you so very much. Wow. (Goes off in a little daze…a bit baffled…a bit happy…)

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