Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On not being "that" editor.

When I first started trying to publish my own poetry one of the things I heard a lot was "sometimes you just catch the editor on a bad day and that's why you get rejected," and this idea never sat well with me. On one hand, I understand time constraints and that an editor really has no obligation to me as a submitter, but I will admit that it bugged me.

As a couple of you might know, one of my far-too-many-these-days projects is editing Weave Magazine. I can assure you that I do my absolute best to not be "that editor". If I don't like your poem(s), I will, for sure, at least wait until after I've had my morning coffee to give them a reread and potentially send out your rejection.

Of course, this might change if we start getting 300 submissions a week or somesuch thing, but right now the reread after a cup of coffee or a solid week away from the initially disliked submission is important to me -- important enough that I promise you if you submit to Weave I will read your submission. Then I will read it again. Then I will reject it.

Or accept it. That happens too.


Susan said...

Hi Margaret,

I too, think it's important to read something twice before making a decision...

Often, it's not even a reflection on the quality of the work (if we happen to decline a submission) but more a matter of whether it "fits" an issue thematically...or (as is often the case) a matter of keeping each issue a manageable size...

Although I imagine a deluge of submissions (i.e. 300 a week? Yikes.) would cut down on thoughtful and well-caffeinated reading time here, as well!

Welcome to blogger!

-Susan :)

Brooklyn said...

Yaaaay! Lookatchoo on a Blogspot all yer own!

I usually know right away if I like something or not, but I hold on to things for about a week if I'm unsure. Like Susan said, sometimes it's just a matter of a group of poems not fitting with the issue. I always wonder if poets think I'm bullshitting them when I tell them that, but I wouldn't say it if it weren't true!!


Laura Without Labels said...

Yay for Mags blogging! You will soon find you had more to say than you originally thought.

I think you do a great job of not being "that" editor. And like Susan said, there are a lot of reasons why something might not get accepted.

Rachel Mallino said...

Hi Margaret!

Nic and I aren't "those" editors either. We read manuscripts several times before making a decision. I would hate to dismiss something just because I was having an "off" day.

I think if we ever reach a point of not being able to read a MS several times, Tilt will simply shorten our open reading period and/or lengthen our response time. It's only in the best interest of poetry.

Welcome to blogdom!

Margaret Bashaar said...

See, I don't even know where "those" editors are hanging out. Clearly not with any of my friends.

Thank you so much for the welcome notes -- it makes me feel fuzzy :)