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Top Three Pet Peeves as an Editor

The awesome Jason "Mr. Overlord" Sizemore asked me today what my top three pet peeves as an editor were. My guess is that he is going to do an article to our Apex readers about it and how not to piss of his minions. (We minions can be a surly bunch.) And I thought, "You know, this can never been expressed enough." Currently, I'm editing for two semiprozines and one anthology and I have an anthology about to come out. I know I have more editing projects in my future. So...

My Top Three Pet Peeves as an Editor

#1 - Not reading the guidelines and sending in stories that don't fit what I need. In fact, it pisses me off even more if it is a well written story because, now, I -know- you can write but either you cannot comprehend or you don't give a damn about what I want and you are just tossing your story out to willy-nilly without researching your market.

#2 - Angry, snotty replies back to me for my rejection with the assumption that I am incompetent, malicious or unable to see the beauty of your submission. Angry, curse-laden replies to my rejections actually do hurt. I am a person. I am not a machine. Dear gods and little fishes... I want to publish you. All I want in return is a well written story that fits the theme, genre and word count that I'm looking for.

#3 - Receiving a good story in the nascent stages of editing. You've got the theme and genre and word count down but if I can see 2 spelling errors, 1 dropped word and a misplaced comma in the first 3 paragraphs I'm going to sigh and give out a rejection. Always have someone else look over your story for technical mistakes. Technical mistakes jar the reader (me) out of the story. A poorly edited manuscript makes me grit my teeth and wonder if the extra work is worth taking the story. Most of the time, it isn't.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 27th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
I think there should be a panel at Literary conventions that should be called, "REJECTION: GET OVER IT" that deals with the realities of what editors look for why you shouldn't take a rejection letter personally. I remember the first rejection letter I got from Palladium publishing (of course I was in my mid teens, and it was a horrible RPG supplement for rifts). The editor was nice and let me down easy.

I think more editors with this point of view need to share their views and educate prospective and published writers on what causes rejection and why not to take personally and to keep on submitting.

::gulp you got me inspired now::
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(Deleted comment)
Apr. 28th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
On the one hand, you would think that these would be issues of common courtesy. But assuming such things always leads to disappointment. I think any time someone asks how to approach an editor with a story, I might need to link them here.
Apr. 28th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
Feel free to.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )