Small text iconNormal text iconLarge text icon

INTERACTION

 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MembersMembers   GroupsGroups   RegisterRegister 
 User Control PanelUser Control Panel      LoginLogin 


All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 88 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:24 pm
Posts: 60
Location: Waterloo, Iowa, USA
Jetse, I was playing devil's advocate. I told you that. I wanted to generate a discussion, not anger.

I was not, and am not, suggesting that IZ should allow simultaneous submissions. You have the right to set any quidelines you see fit.

To be honest, the reason I wrote anything at all is because I thought your original rant was unbecoming. As an editor, you have to know that you're going to get submissions from people with all levels of ability and experience. That's. Part. Of. The. Job. Some writers are going to follow the rules. Some are going to disregard the rules. And some are not going to have a clue about the rules because they don't bother to check. There is nothing, ever, that's going to change that as long as you allow unsolicited submissions.

If someone breaks the rules, then reject the story. Simple as that. No need for gnashing of teeth, tearing of hair, or re-enacting the death scene from Carmen. Just reject the story.

Publicly complaining about how difficult it is does you no credit. It's your job as editor to separate the shit from the shinola. Nobody said it was going to be easy. If the amateurs and the rulebreakers are too frustrating, then maybe editing isn't for you. Otherwise, that's the price of doing business. Deal with it. To paraphrase your own advice ("If you disagree with that, then DO NOT SUBMIT"): If you can't handle the normal stresses of being an editor, then DON'T BE AN EDITOR.

Interzone is an excellent magazine. That is due to the great work done by the people selecting the stories--including you. Please don't cheapen yourself or the other IZ editors by complaining about how difficult your job is. Of course it's difficult. IZ wouldn't be the magazine it is if your jobs were easy. Let the excellence of your product and the praise of the masses be your reward.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:13 am
Posts: 80
Location: United States of America
Wow. Step away from the forum for a day and the discussion goes into overdrive.

As I said earlier, I agree with Jetse on the issue of simultaneous submissions--and I say that as an editor, a writer, and a reader of a number of SF magazines. When I write a story, I'm driven by my own creative impulses. Sometimes I write a story for a specific magazine; sometimes I just write the story and then decide where to send it. But because I subscribe to and read so many magazines (including Interzone), I usually have a good feeling about which of my stories would be a good fit for which magazine. That doesn't mean the story will be accepted by that magazine, but I like to think it's at least in the ballpark of what they publish.

In my experience as an editor, I've found that the writers who send me simultaneous submissions are usually those writers who haven't read storySouth. These writers are merely spamming their stories to as many magazines as possible, hoping to hit the jackpot. The ironic thing is that I rarely publish these stories--not because I'm trying to punish the authors but b/c their stories rarely fit what we're looking for.

I believe writers who submit to a magazine should also be readers of that magazine. Not only does this support the magazine (which is vitally important in today's harsh magazine market), but being a reader allows a writer to enter into a dialogue with the magazine. The stories you read in the magazine influence your own stories, which then (perhaps) find their way into the magazine to influence a different writer. Sim subs short circuit this entire process.

In the interest of total disclosure, I used to have a different view on sim subs. But now I see them as being nothing more than a selfish way for authors to try and promote their own works without actually reading and supporting the magazines which make short fiction available to all of us. And as a disclaimer, I should state that I'm not applying this statement to the people commenting here. Obviously everyone in this forum cares about and reads Interzone, or they wouldn't be commenting here.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:06 pm
Posts: 2678
Location: Clacton-on-Sea
I believe writers who submit to a magazine should also be readers of that magazine.

Too true.

Obviously everyone in this forum cares about and reads Interzone, or they wouldn't be commenting here

I check in positively on that score.


but being a reader allows a writer to enter into a dialogue with the magazine

This is where I depart comapny with you. In fact I can't do this with Nemonymous. I ususally decide on a story when it is still anonymous. I believe peripherals to a story and the story itself do not mix.

_________________
MY WEBSITE: www.nemonymous.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:24 pm
Posts: 60
Location: Waterloo, Iowa, USA
I support everything you said, Jason, with the exception of your claim that writers who send simultaneous submissions are selfish. Whereas I agree whole-heartedly that writers should know their market and, when possible, support the magazines to which they submit, I don't see anything wrong with promoting one's own work. The very act of submitting one's work is an act of self-promotion. I don't think it's selfish to try to publish, whether one's motives be fame, money, or the simple joy of seeing one's name in print.

I see nothing wrong with simultaneous submissions--if (are you listening, Jetse?) IF a magazine is open to them. Many literary magazines are now, and a few genre. A writer would be foolish not to take advantage of that opportunity, so long, as you noted, that the story is suitable to the magazines in question. Sending manuscripts out blindly is a bad idea, whether to one magazine at a time or to several.


Last edited by Hoing on Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:11 pm
Posts: 189
Location: 's-Hertogenbosch
Quote:
To be honest, the reason I wrote anything at all is because I thought your original rant was unbecoming.


Then why not say so in the first place? Instead, you start a whole argument -- supposedly as devil's advocate -- that not taking simsubs is *wrong*.

I counter your arguments with mine, stating you compare apples with oranges and that, in principle, magazines that open up to unsollicited submissions can state guidelines as they see fit. Which is normal business practice.

Quote:
As an editor, you have to know that you're going to get submissions from people with all levels of ability and experience. That's. Part. Of. The. Job. Some writers are going to follow the rules. Some are going to disregard the rules. And some are not going to have a clue about the rules because they don't bother to check. There is nothing, ever, that's going to change that as long as you allow unsolicited submissions.


And that is exactly why I'm always doing this thread: to keep writers who have submitted (both the experienced *and* unexperienced ones) updated about the email slushpile happenings. People can also ask questions, and I always try to answer these.

It's called 'transparancy': by showing the people how the process works I hope they get a better understanding of it.

So I report both the good *and* the bad things. I assume unexperienced writers also want to know what is considered not done, and why.

Of course, I can delete this thread altogether, and keep people in the dark. Is that going to help any aspiring writers?

I prefer openness and discussion, so will keep this thread open. Meaning both good and bad behaviour will be noted, as examples for those who wish to learn.

Quote:
If someone breaks the rules, then reject the story. Simple as that. No need for gnashing of teeth, tearing of hair, or re-enacting the death scene from Carmen. Just reject the story.


Obviously, the person who breaks the rules on purpose (as this person did) will not learn. But other writers might. And that is why I mentioned it.

Also, read my original post –

Quote:
Oh yeah, and a few *don't*s.

One submitter was so kind to inform me that the submitted story was accepted elsewhere.

Well, this is what is called a 'simulataneous submission': this submitter sent the story to me, and to (at least) one other market.

We don't accept simultaneous submissions. Now, thing is that we can't stop people from doing it. But I hope people can understand that when I'm reading through 500 submissions as fast as I can to unearth those pearls, then I am not happy when one story is whisked away.

I won't cast a stone here: I've done it myself, in the past, when I didn't fully know how the publishing world works. I'm no saint, but I learn from my mistakes.

So I've sent this submitter a warning, explaining why we don't wish to see simultaneous subs (as they waste our time), and telling that the next time I see a submission from this person (yeah, I will not forget the name), I will explicitly ask if this story is under consideration elsewhere. If the answer is 'yes', then I will reject it unread.

Then there was a submitter who asked when I would reply. I wanted to reply saying that I've received 500 subs, and that I try to turn those around before the end of June, with no guarantees whatsoever.

If that response time is unacceptable, please don't submit.

Now when I resoponded, the email bounced form this person's email provider.

That's even better: ask a question, and then forget to put the submission in the *no spam* part of your spam filter, or that of your provider.

Well, I'm *not* going to spend precious time in trying to contact somebody whose email blocks the Interzone.May2007@gmail acccount. Such unprofessional behaviour does not warrant wasting my time.

If you want my reply, make sure my email is not blocked.

OK, rant over.



– it is as far from the death scene from Carmen as Uluru is from the sea. I'm tempted to say that your overdramatic comparisons are unbecoming, but I am not allowed to do so.

Because an editor must always be professional, while an author can moan, bitch, complain, and play devil's advocate all she or he wants.

So excuse me for being human: I will return to robotic mode in a second. The robotic mode mentions, though, that you have not given any decent *arguments* against my *arguments*, but that you seem to have gone into emotional accusations rather than the rational ones.

Quote:
Publicly complaining about how difficult it is does you no credit. It's your job as editor to separate the shit from the shinola. Nobody said it was going to be easy. If the amateurs and the rulebreakers are too frustrating, then maybe editing isn't for you. Otherwise, that's the price of doing business. Deal with it. To paraphrase your own advice ("If you disagree with that, then DO NOT SUBMIT"): If you can't handle the normal stresses of being an editor, then DON'T BE AN EDITOR.


Please point me out where I have complained about how difficult my editing job is.

I haven't: I’ve only given two examples – that’s why the post is headed: -- Oh yeah, and a few *don’t*s – of things not to do.

Also, I am trying to educate the amateurs and those willing to learn (admittedly the rulebreakers will *not* learn, but that post was not for them). Or is it de rigueur to teach only by giving good examples, and not by giving bad? Is only positive reinforcenment allowed?

Or -- and this is what you seem to say -- I should just not mention anything of the slushpile process *at all*? Just shut up and do my job?

If that is what you want, then I must say that it surprises me that somebody working at a University does have such a preference.

So what do you people want: not have this thread altogether, and keep all the submitters in the dark? Or do you want an honest report on the things that happen, both good and bad?

_________________
In the Plane of the Ecliptic


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:13 am
Posts: 80
Location: United States of America
I probably should have been more clear with my selfish comment. Sim subs themselves aren't selfish; sending stories out blindly to dozens of magazines at a time, when the author doesn't even read those magazines, strikes me as selfish. What irks me as an editor is receiving e-mail submissions where you can tell someone was using a database to send out a ton of subs all at once. I've even received submissions where the author left in (by accident, no doubt) the e-mail addresses of the other places they were submitting to.

If magazines allow sim subs and a writer feels a story would be a good fit at several different magazines, it's not selfish to send that story to all those places. But I feel it is selfish when people spam their stories and don't even tell the editors they are sim subs.

And authors should always promote their work! But I question if sim subs is the best way to do that.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:37 pm
Posts: 174
Location: Brighton, UK
Don't delete this thread, please. It's an interesting discussion.

_________________
Shaun C. Green

Nostalgia For Infinity
Literature, gaming, punk rock... and all that.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:13 am
Posts: 80
Location: United States of America
Jetse: I posted my last reply before I saw your most recent post, but yes, please keep this thread. It's interesting and educational and will, with luck, help some new writers. Heck, any writer can learn something from this thread. Until I read your earlier posts, I had no idea religiously-themed tales were so rampant these days.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:24 pm
Posts: 60
Location: Waterloo, Iowa, USA
I hope you'll continue to say whatever you want to say, Jetse.

We are obviously both guilty of misreading the other. For instance, I did not, at any point, say or imply that refusing to accept simsubs is wrong. In fact, on at least three separate occasions I said that you should set the guidelines as you see fit and stick to them. I also said that there's no excuse for writers not knowing the rules in advance.

Sorry if I misinterpreted your statements as complaining your job is hard. That talk of "wasting" your "precious time" struck me as complaining. That talk of "(yeah, I will not forget the name)" struck me as a tad vindictive. (Hey, at least the writer informed you it was simsub!) Maybe I was mistaken in all I have read from you in these posts. If so, please accept my apologies.

Yes, my impetus for opening this thread is because I thought your rant was unbecoming. I still do, but it's your right to say what you want. However, you should know that I didn't do it to piss you off. I really did think the issue of simsubs would be an interesting and instructive topic to discuss. Again, maybe I was mistaken.

As for continuing with your slush pile reports, rather than ask me, perhaps you should ask yourself. Is it worth it to you to put up with the occasional ornery posting from people like me? I think it would be unfortunate if you would elect to discontinue your reports because of one (apparent) malcontent, but that's your decision.


Last edited by Hoing on Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:51 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:06 pm
Posts: 2678
Location: Clacton-on-Sea
Dear writers, perhaps the best way to solve all the new problems created by the internet etc is to use the internet: i.e. for passworded 'portfolios' of work set up by each author so that editors can explore them and choose.
This avoids work sitting for a long time in slush piles and the necessity for sim subs...because several editors will be reading your work at the same time (and hopefully competing for it!) des :-)

_________________
MY WEBSITE: www.nemonymous.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:30 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:02 pm
Posts: 34
Location: UK
I originally conceived my own site to do exactly that. I came to the conclusion that it's unlikely to work as a shop window for stories unless you are well established and editors are actively coming to you for work. I do think an online portfiolio makes an excellent workshop for works-in-progress to show collaborators and get feedback and so-on.

I doubt that an editor will trawl through lots of password protected sites in preference to having the stories come to them. You need to convince the editor that there is a story there that they want to read and if you are going to try and do that for a short story, you may as well send them the whole thing.

There are plenty of editors here. Would you use portfolios like that?

_________________
http://www.icarusquay.org


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:06 pm
Posts: 2678
Location: Clacton-on-Sea
They'll probably say no, Icaraus. But if this was a settled system - bedded in over some years (with some bright ideas to adapt it brought by other minds) - it would, I believe, work well. The editors would do a scour of the portfolios periodically. No paper wasted. No writer's story stuck in one slush pile. It's the obvious thing to do. It's sensible but difficult to implement under systems that already prevail.

_________________
MY WEBSITE: www.nemonymous.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:32 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:16 pm
Posts: 179
Location: Velcro City
I think you've got the nugget of a dot-com start-up there, des - time to hunt for venture capital!

More seriously, it would be a shame to lose this fascinating thread, so please don't anyone go deleting it. I think what we have here is another iteration of the "text is a low-bandwidth discussion medium" problem which manifested during the Great Review-length Debacle earlier this year - but from a non-participant's POV, I'm learning an awful lot about the subs procedure, and getting an insight into both authorial and editorial mindsets.

_________________
"I have a fatal compulsion to find a kind of higher sense in things that make no sense at all."

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

VelcroCityTouristBoard


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:30 pm
Posts: 371
Location: Barnsley, England
I suppose there are some things starting to go in that direction with the use of peer-review websites. I've looked at two so far:

Well reviewed novels on Frontlist then go on to an agent or publisher's desk.

To me, the next logical step would be co-operative-type, secure servers shared by writers that they could then make available to particular editors. The works would presumably be available to members and might even be peer-reviewed, but wouldn't be published as such. Alternatively, a publisher/editor's slush-pile server that writers could send all work they considered suitable (avoiding simultanteous submissions, of course!) to following the acceptance of one story. This would then be dipped into when the editor thought "well, they were received well" or "how about a story in the same style as ... ". The only problem is that aspiring writers will still have difficulty breaking in (if you'll excuse the phrase). But there's no real way of getting around being an unknown quantity. However, I don't think either suggestion really fits in.

And I think I'm guilty of submitting a "religious" piece as it had angels in it. But they weren't the kind dressed in white with wings ;)

_________________
Jo Thomas
http://www.journeymouse.net/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:09 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:37 pm
Posts: 174
Location: Brighton, UK
Des - I'm not sure your idea would work out. There are some good elements to it. I just can't see editors reading through even one writer's portfolio in the hope that they find a story that is both good and the right story for their magazine. I suppose if you implemented "web 2.0" categories and tagging so that portfolio browsers could explore by theme, concept or setting you might be on to something on that front. E.g., I'm publishing an anthology of post-apocalyptic romance, so I filter my selections by "apocalypse", "romance", "love" etc.

Then there's the problem that an online portfolio means your work is going to be read for free. What system would you have to ensure only editors saw your work? They were required to register? But it would be so easy to pretend to be an editor and just read a writer's whole catalogue for free. And then there's the whole publication rights situation, which as it is right now would conflict quite badly with online "pre-publication" even if you could somehow restrict viewing to a select audience.

It's not an unworkable concept but these are just a few problems that occur to me immediately that would need solving or evading. :)

_________________
Shaun C. Green

Nostalgia For Infinity
Literature, gaming, punk rock... and all that.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 88 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group