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Don't let this be you. You don't want to receive this email from me.

Dear XXXX,

I am sorry but I cannot accept this submission. If you had contacted me before the due date and asked for an extension, I might have been able to allow it. As it is, almost 2 weeks after the deadline, that is not possible.

If you wish, you may submit it as part of the Apex Halloween Contest - http://www.apexbookcompany.com/news/2009/06/announcing-the-fourth-annual-apex-halloween-short-story-contest/

In the future, if you are writing for me and cannot make your deadline, it is best to contact me before the due date to work something out.

Thank you,
Jennifer


I expect professionals to be professional. If you are writing for me and you are not going to make your deadline, you'd better contact me before the deadline and ask for an extension.

I plan out my writing projects. I know weeks in advance if I will not make my due date and talk to my editor about it 2 weeks in advance of the due date. If I need an extension, I will ask for it. If you need an extension, I will look at what I have and decide if I can allow it. Sometimes the answer will be "Yes." Sometimes the answer will be "I'm sorry, no."

As a note, the person I sent this email to was gracious about my inability to accept their submission and said they would submit it to the contest. I am pleased at the professional response to the bad news.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
jesshartley
Sep. 14th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
Well handled, on both sides. I think I may touch on something like this in an upcoming One Geek article - Regrets, Delays and Cancellations... Because the same sort of respect should be given for things like social activities, or ongoing commitments (game nights, Buffy nights, etc.)

filamena
Sep. 14th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
You're too kind. With some editors I've worked with, a late submission doesn't even warrant an answer. I almost resent writers who can't meet, or at least look for extensions. I hate hearing 'well, writers are flaky. They're always late.' It isn't true, but the ones who make it true are somehow more memorable.
eyezofwolf
Sep. 14th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad to see your side note. I think so many things would go better in life in general if people were just professional and courteous with each other. I agree with your first poster - it was really well handled on both sides.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )