Thursday, July 15, 2010

Request: What are your pet peeves as an editor?

This might sound crazy, but I don't have any.

Really, I am a writer myself and have probably made every mistake possible in my life as a poet.

I once submitted to the Paris Review in my twenties telling them that I was fulfilling my dream of being a writer and they were lucky enough to be receiving my second submission ever because I wanted to start with the best.

Gee, thanks young poet for sending us your cr*p.  

They did not say this, but looking back, I'm sure this is what they thought.

I am a pretty laid back person.  And more of a live-and-let-live girl.  As an editor, I tend to operate the same way.

While I like people to use semi-colons correctly, I will not reject a poem or story because the writer got it completely wrong.   We will accept the poem/story and write to the writer to let him/her know we have some punctuation issues we need to fix, but would still like to publish his/her work.

I do not get upset when people forget SASEs or submit when they shouldn't.  I do not get upset with weird cover letters or people calling me Emily (an editor of the journal from about seven years ago).

I do not get upset when someone contacts us every 2 weeks and asks if we've made a decision yet.  And I do not blackball them for being annoying.

Really, I just like to get good work and can overlook your mistakes if you overlook mine. Try your best and I'll try my best.

I understand what it's like to be a writer submitting to a journal and maybe that's why I will not list your sins to you.  Your sins are my sins.  Sometimes there are errors in my own poems I send off to journals.  Sometimes I misspell "accidentally."  I add an extra "i."  You might misspell "cemetery."  We do our best and learn from our mistakes.

I will not hold your mistakes against you.  And I would never keep peeves as pets.

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