Submission Season Bonus Round: Handling an Editor’s Decision

This is a fantastic overview of some basic submissions etiquette. When I managed the Bellingham Review, I’m happy to say that I rarely got any snarky or otherwise rude replies from writers that we rejected. One does stand out in my mind though: “Dear Editor Type: Those who can’t edit. Consider killing yourself.” Luckily I’m the type to find these things more humorous than anything else, but still, that kind of stuff does indeed stick with you.

Oyez Review

You’ve written, you’ve examined the marketplace, you’ve formatted your manuscript, and you’ve submitted with a great cover letter. Time goes by. Months, perhaps even close to a year. Suddenly an email shows up in your inbox or a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) shows up. The moment of truth! What does it mean?

Getting a piece accepted usually becomes the high point of a day, a week,  a month, and usually editors are as excited to be taking a piece as a writer is to have it taken. In that envelope is a publication contract to read and a questionnaire to answer. What are First North American Serial Rights? What about contributors’ copies? Are you getting paid?

And what if that envelope or email is just a rejection? How do you handle it? Is the editor breaking up with you?

Rejection and acceptance are the two outcomes of a cycle of…

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