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We who are about to rant: can I have an editorial blacklist?

August 2, 2011 \pm\31 3:59 pm

I have been an editor for less than a month. When you read poetry magazines, especially online ones, everyday, at some point you are going to have a really stupid idea that you think is inspired: ‘I should start an online magazine! YEAH.’

So I did it. I made the nominal commitment of getting the domain name, setting up the shell of a site and registering with Submishmash. The submissions started flooding in. Good shit, too. From people I actually read.

So far, so good.

And then I began to understand why some editors bitch the whole time. Writers are only nice to you because they want to be published. They are sweet enough in their cover letters. But then they dick you over because they can, and somehow editors are the demons of the lit world because we spread your crushed dreams on our toast for breakfast.

This one poet has submitted to me twice, already. Despite clearly stating in the guidelines to submit once per reading period. Both submissions this poet made were withdrawn before I could get to reading them. TWICE. Our current reading turnaround is less than a week.

You are the drunk girl who is ‘just SOOOO glad we’re friends’ and then proceeds to try and hook up with your boyfriend in the bathroom.

You are Veronica Sawyer turning her back on her sweet friend to get in with the Heathers. And while I know this poet may not go on a killing spree, they are definitely on my blacklist.

Screw editorial objectivity, IT’S MY PARTY AND I DON’T WANT YOU THERE.

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For any of you poets out there who won’t mess editors around, feel free to check out ILK journal and maybe think about submitting for the first issue (deadline August 10th). We actually love poets at ILK but sometimes it’s a tough kind of love.

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4 Comments
  1. Roxane Gay permalink
    August 2, 2011 \pm\31 4:41 pm 4:41 pm

    Welcome to the editorial party. It’s so much FUN!

  2. August 2, 2011 \pm\31 5:06 pm 5:06 pm

    Haha, “spread your crushed dreams on our toast for breakfast.” It is weird to try to be extremely nice and still receive a lot of angry emails from people.

  3. August 2, 2011 \pm\31 5:29 pm 5:29 pm

    it’s funny/weird that two editors i’d eat 76 pieces of sashimi for (i fuckin’ hate sashimi) felt the need to comment on this

    i haven’t acted even half as bratty to either of you as i have to j.a. tyler and he continues to be the most caring, supportive editor in the biz

    i guess i pick the good parties (i am a party animal after all)

  4. August 3, 2011 \pm\31 12:09 pm 12:09 pm

    Excellent. I’m happy that other people share my frustration. This is about perfect: “And then I began to understand why some editors bitch the whole time. Writers are only nice to you because they want to be published. They are sweet enough in their cover letters. But then they dick you over because they can, and somehow editors are the demons of the lit world because we spread your crushed dreams on our toast for breakfast.”

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