Monday, October 24, 2011

NaNoWriMo, World Fantasy, and The Art of Passive Rejection

I keep forgetting this isn't the last day of the month, because it is as far as I'm concerned. The next week is going to be eaten up by travel and family and my first World Fantasy Convention. (YES!) So everything that needs to get done before NaNoWriMo must get done today.

If you're looking for my NaNo profile it's follyblaine. The ability to add writing buddies should be reinstated soon, according to their site.

By the way, if you're an opportunistic burglar excited at the prospect of my travel, don't bother casing the joint. My husband will be holding down the fort with tar and feathers and other old fashioned defensive weaponry. Like moats. And fierce Amazonian women. On catapults. Or stilts.

We're still working out the logistics.

So over the weekend I got a few things done. I ripped some CDs, because apparently I still buy physical music, and loaded up my iPod with lossless tunes. I put together a scene for a workshop I'm attending in a couple of weeks. And I figured out I'd been rejected by a market by seeing their most recent publication and using mad deductive reasoning to deduce my story wasn't included.

Surprise, I have a comment about that. It just seems reasonable, not to mention respectful, to let your submitters know when their stories are no longer under consideration. I'm not even requesting feedback on why the story was rejected--I understand the reasons aren't always easy to qualify--just a simple form letter and I'm on my way. It doesn't even have to include my name.

If we're even going to pretend that what we do is a business, then a certain level of communication should be expected. If you are accepting submissions and I know my work is in a queue, and you do not accept simultaneous submissions (so I'm locked into your system), the least you could do is let me know when my story is free to circulate.

By choosing the passive option of not telling a submitter their story has been rejected, a market robs the submitter of time. And time is huge, when it can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to 4 years to hear back on a story.

It's not even a big enough deal to make me angry. Just makes me think twice before I submit to that market again.

So I took the story and revised it a bit -- I think it's stronger now, so that's a benefit -- and sent it out. This one may have trouble finding a home, but I believe in it and I think someday when you get to read it, it will have been worth the wait.

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