Friday, 4 October 2013

Editors Have Feelings Too

My blog today is brought to you by my partner and Fur-Lined Ghettos editor, Sophie:

I've been editing Fur-Lined Ghettos for two years now and have never received a vile email. Until today.

As a writer, I know how hard a rejection can hit. You put your heart into your writing, pluck up the courage to send your work out, wait months to hear back, only to get the standard 'thanks, but it's not for us' email. It hurts.

But, I also know it's subjective. One editor's opinion doesn't make your writing any less valid. Of course you shout profanities, though I have never, and will never, send an email out of anger.

It is neither polite nor professional.

As with many zines, Fur-Lined Ghettos is a labour of love. When it comes down to it we don't have the money to publish it, the time to read submissions, or to typeset it. But we struggle in the rare spare moments we do get because, for us, it's important to put out a print zine featuring writing we enjoy. Writing we know already has a limited platform.

So when I get a simple yet harsh 'fuck you' after I've politely rejected someone it hurts, a lot. I cried.

It's a shame that people are capable of being so heartless, and so thoughtless, when we're in the same boat. We're all artists trying to positively change the world. There is no place for hatred.

But thanks, I'll get a poem out of it.


  1. Sorry to hear about this Sophie. As you said rejections do hurt. A lot. But there is absolutely no need for this type of behaviour.

  2. Horrid. I set up Gmail rules for people like that so that if they pop up again years down the line their emails are auto-tagged with a warning.

  3. I didn't realise people actually did things like that.

    I've had a lot of rejections, some fairly confidence destroying, but that's the way the industry works. Responding with abuse is...just something you don't do.

  4. Sorry you had a horrible experience... worst I've had was from a horror writer who had sent me practically everything he had written and hoped I'd take something. I said I'd read the first two, but they weren't for us. Had to link to the guidelines...

  5. Thanks for all the positive comments. I had a few idiot responses myself when editing with Elastic Press, but I think the simplicity of this person's reply contained more vitriol than all those put together. Anyway, we move onwards and upwards...

  6. :o Whoa. I can relate to the frustration, but there's not much progress made by throwing profanity with intent to wound. One can't mire themselves in that kind of thinking. I don't see that as the type of writer who is geared for longevity in the field. Life is full of rejections; if you can't handle a story rejection, how the hell does a person like that deal with real life problems: Death? Divorce? Adversity? Can't pay your bills with "fuck you."

    Hope you take heart, Sophie -- for every bad apple there's twice as many grateful to hear back from you -- even with a form rejection.