Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"You need to edit that, Dumb ass!"

I had a small fit of hysterics during my semi-annual, internet, market-search for places to send short stories to. Most of them are wonderful and professional and affirming. Still, I gotta tell you, some of those editors sound even more burned-out than I am at my job. I definitely get crabby at work. I do feel bad because I get edgy with people whom I have had the same conversation with a half-dozen times. I think some of these folks are way in the same boat (or possibly they already sank).

I totally get that editors get piles and piles of writing. Some of it must be really displeasing to them. Everyone has different tastes. Anyone who works for a living gets tired and cranky. But the kind of “submission guidelines” that you see from editors can get pretty hilarious.

Let’s see. Here’s sample:

“Please, no tweenie or teeny-bopper or “California Girl” type of infantile drivel. NO!”

“Most common reasons for rejection are: lack of power, lack of originality, slow pacing, poor writing, boring themes.”

I understand their frustration. I really do. BUT do they really think any writer anywhere thinks his or her writing is “boring,” “poor,” or “slow?” Does anyone brag to her or his friends about the “infantile drivel” they just put through its sixth revision? Come on.

One of these days, if it isn’t already out there, I fully expect to see a submission guideline that says:

Standard Submission Guidelines:


Fuck off. Who gives a shit? Go write a fucking blog.

Poetry and Prose:

Please refer to the non-fiction guidelines. If you are too fucking stupid to get the point, then please read the following disclaimer:

Don’t you fucking dare send me your shit-ass brain-farts you fucking organ donor jack-offs. If I get one more paragraph (by electronic or hard-copy submission) I’m going to hunt you down and carve out your fucking liver. I’ve got a grapefruit spoon with your fucking name on it. Go ahead. Try me!

Sincerely (and Fuck Off),

Blah-the-blah A. Powertripper

Oooh! Which story should I send first? I’d better watch my liver. Or maybe I’ll just keep them with me and put them through their seventh revisions. ;) ljl

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