Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Singular Twist of Fate

I got an SASE back today in the mail. It was from the Indiana Review; postdated September 30, 2005. So I figure...This is Guinness World Record material for a rejection from a print journal. I mean I sent the sucker out on September 26, 2005 and I receive the SASE on October 4th of the same year nonetheless. What did they use the pony express? Then I thought: Gee.... I didn't think my sub was that bad. So I open the sucker up and I read the rejection slip.




Now let me get this straight. I sent my sub on September 26, figuring that it'll take about 4 to 10 days to get there just in time for October 1st . Instead by some freak occurrence they get it within a couple of days maybe and they're whipping it back at me by September 30th. But I mean October 1st is like the next day. Do you get the impression (like me) that they never even took a look at the sucker and that right about now my poetry, printed on Xerox Ultra White 20 lb standard weight paper, is being abused and tortured into admitting that it's vapid and meaningless drivel by some intern? Something tells me I shouldn't waste my time and money sending them another sub. But then I figure what the hell...even interns have to have some fun.

6 comments:

Ernesto said...

Send it again. Obviously, there's an intern with not enough to do. It's pathetic how bureaucracy can ail even the most respected spheres.

Send it again.

Nick said...

Thanks for the encouragement... Heck, I'm not giving up that easy!

Collin said...

Submitting poetry by snail mail is soooooo 1999. When are these journals going to wise up and save the poets, and themselves, time, paper and energy by allowing email submissions. Gripe over. :)

Nick said...

Right on, Collin! I've heard different print publications claim that they don't have the manpower to handle e-mail submissions. Seems to me that answering snail-mail is more labor intensive.

Hannah Craig said...

Well, I dunno that it's so simple. I definitely don't think that "email submissions" are necessarily the way to go...

I mean. I'm one person and I still lose email, think I sent an email but didn't, misfile email, lose saved email in computer crashes, etc. I don't think that, if I were an editor who gets thousands of submissions a year, I would ever agree to an email submission system.

I do think form submissions (like Kenyon's) are a good idea, but in order to make an effective system, you'd need good design, a web developer and DBA, and you'd have to do the maintenance to keep it up all the time. And that = time, technosavvy, and moolah.

Nick said...

Hannah,

I agree that the system is only as efficient as those that run it. But if an editor misplaces, inadvertently uses a sub as a coaster, as scrap paper for doodling; or perhaps the sub is lost by the postal system, it is the poet that must fork out the money for postage, manila envelope etc... E-mails are more predictable, instantaneous and cost efficient. I.e.: in this instance (Indiana Review) I would have waited until midnight on September 30 to send it out.

I'm not sure that form submissions are any better than e-mails, and in my experience do not generally allow for the special formatting of certain poems. That said, I do like receiving an acceptance in hard copy. It makes the experience that much more tangible.