Sunday, November 8, 2009

Translating Editorspeak: A Writer’s Guide

As writers, what do we complain about most? Lack of time to write. Well, here's some help. I’ve noticed that when sorting out acceptance letters from rejections, that the first few words tell all. With this guide you don’t even have to read to the end of the first sentence anymore!


We love: You’re bad. Jam on it.


We are pleased: Yay!


We are interested: You are in, but only after a grueling revision.


We found. You might be in after a grueling revision.


We enjoyed. Your piece didn’t cut it, but please don’t shoot yourself.


Thanks for this. We’re concerned. Are you OK?


While. No.


I did receive a rejection from a lit mag recently that informed me that while they ultimately had to decline, they did “read until the end.” I could be irritated, but having read for a lit mag before, understand that this is actually, high praise.

2 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Too funny! I'm tweeting this one...

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Laurie W. said...

From an interesting interview of the editors of >kill author:

We’d like to see those longer relationships happening [the "editor/writer relationships of old"...that..."have largely fallen by the wayside"], yes – the back and forth of polishing a writer’s work – though we’ll admit there might be difficulties with this because of our anonymous approach. However, in our favor is that our anonymity doesn’t come with the baggage of being a ‘name’ editor. We know, because we’ve done it ourselves as writers, that you can get obsessive when dealing with an editor – What does this editor want? What are they thinking? What does that extra comma in the last sentence of the rejection email mean? You can end up driving yourself crazy...