I have decided not to respond to this person. The first time, he yelled at me for responding too quickly to his first story. Then, after eight emails back and forth, he finally understood the first story wasn't what I was looking for. This is his response to his second story and my form rejection. His was the 15th story I read today.
This is a real email and has not been edited.
"That’s great Jennifer. We have a long conversation, and a good back and forth. I tell you I have written this great story from the ground up tailor made for your magazine and I submit it, and all I get back is a lousy form rejection letter? I mean really? You can’t even tell me why you rejected this piece after all our banter? That frankly sucks, and that kind of utter callousness shows a lot about the nature of your character.
In my years on this planet, I have never seen a more superficial society with more terrible taste in all things from music, to movies and books than the one we have today. I had hoped that the literary magazine world would be more above that, perhaps one of the last bastions in fact for works of depth and substance, free of the Lady GagGag superficial disease. I had hoped to find in words Islands perhaps rising out of the vast consuming and ever rising ocean of banality. I have found thus far, to my eternal disappointment, that the same culture of superficiality that has infected popular culture has spread its disease as well to many literary magazine editors, who publish either clichéd, superficial stories, or publish bad stories simply because the writer has somehow managed to garner publication credits, or publish stories that are full of flashy shiny thing’s and sex and violence because, just like Hollywood, they feel they need to do this to keep peoples interest, and imagine their audience lacks the intellect to perceive anything deeper or more advanced. And if literary magazines, like the book publishing industry before them, have fallen under this tide, what home is there left for writing of genuine substance? Substance, slowly or rapidly, becomes an anachronism.
Editors like you seem to be part of this tide of banality. To reject a story like the one I wrote without so much as a comment not only shows bad taste but base callousness. When editors like you become goalies preventing works of intellect and substance from ever reaching the printed page, in favor of the flashy and superficial, there is no place left for such works. So congratulations on keeping the works of good writers down in the desperate hope to garner the 3 of the 4 minute attention span of Joe six pack with something shiny, cliché, and dumbed down. This experience has further helped enlighten me to the devious inner workings of editors that allow deserving stories to fall by the wayside, and mediocre stories to take the limelight, as long as they have enough medals in the form of publishing credits pinned to their chests."
Writers... please don't do this. It makes me want to give up on life.
Yes. This is the kind of email editors receive.
July 19th, 2011