December 18th, 2009 / 9:28 pm
Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes

Gee, This is Awkward

smashglass7Your piece in Lit Mag X was all Oil Glow/Lick-Stick Skillz. I fell in love. So I asked you to submit to a Mag I edit, Lit Y. You did, kind soul. But that piece is only good, not Oil Glow/Lick-Stick Skillz. Now what do I do? Why?

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99 Comments

  1. sasha fletcher

      i got a piece that wasn’t exactly what i was expecting over at everyday genius and so i worked with the author to make it strong enough that i’d be real excited about it instead of it being strong enough that i thought it was real good but could be better.

      otherwise i don’t know. i haven’t had that happen so i can only imagine my response. maybe a clip of some guy masturbating and then nothing happens and it makes a sad face and says THIS WAS FUN BUT BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME

      probably not, but maybe.

  2. sasha fletcher

      i got a piece that wasn’t exactly what i was expecting over at everyday genius and so i worked with the author to make it strong enough that i’d be real excited about it instead of it being strong enough that i thought it was real good but could be better.

      otherwise i don’t know. i haven’t had that happen so i can only imagine my response. maybe a clip of some guy masturbating and then nothing happens and it makes a sad face and says THIS WAS FUN BUT BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME

      probably not, but maybe.

  3. james yeh

      i don’t know. when i first saw “oil glow / lick-stick skillz” i seriously thought “penis picture, like an emailed picture of somebody’s penis, somebody has emailed him a picture of a penis”

      which i guess would be awkward, if it wasn’t a nice penis, or if the penis was from somebody you didn’t want to imagine having a penis, or having the penis in question, or if you just don’t like penises, generally

      i think what sean’s saying when he says “oil glow / lick-stick skillz” is something like “something that is better than just ‘only good’ possibly even bordering on ‘really good’ but i’m also kind of hella not really sure”

  4. james yeh

      i don’t know. when i first saw “oil glow / lick-stick skillz” i seriously thought “penis picture, like an emailed picture of somebody’s penis, somebody has emailed him a picture of a penis”

      which i guess would be awkward, if it wasn’t a nice penis, or if the penis was from somebody you didn’t want to imagine having a penis, or having the penis in question, or if you just don’t like penises, generally

      i think what sean’s saying when he says “oil glow / lick-stick skillz” is something like “something that is better than just ‘only good’ possibly even bordering on ‘really good’ but i’m also kind of hella not really sure”

  5. Lily Hoang

      i’ve now been rejected three times after being solicited. what’s with this? a rejection is bad enough, sure, but to be rejected after being asked is way worse. it’s like: i thought i liked you last night when i was drunk but turns out you’re not so hot when i’m sober. it hurts. it hurts.

  6. Lily Hoang

      i’ve now been rejected three times after being solicited. what’s with this? a rejection is bad enough, sure, but to be rejected after being asked is way worse. it’s like: i thought i liked you last night when i was drunk but turns out you’re not so hot when i’m sober. it hurts. it hurts.

  7. james yeh

      heh

  8. james yeh

      heh

  9. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      I love you so much

  10. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      I love you so much

  11. james yeh

      not to presume i would receive such a request either, but if i did, i think i would feel bad, like “i did something wrong to receive such a request, phrased in such a way”

  12. james yeh

      not to presume i would receive such a request either, but if i did, i think i would feel bad, like “i did something wrong to receive such a request, phrased in such a way”

  13. Lily Hoang

      hey james: you should ask all of us for work for gigantic, then reject us! that’d be awesome!

  14. Lily Hoang

      hey james: you should ask all of us for work for gigantic, then reject us! that’d be awesome!

  15. Aaron

      someone nameless once compared this issue with soliciting a prostitute: you roll up to the red light, lean out the window to assess the prostitutes’ faces (and genders) then decide who gets in the car. but only when you see them in a better light (like in the car or at the motel) can you truly see who you have in your net.

      i’ve never done that, nor would i, so this seems more like catch-and-release fishing to me. and that leaves marks in fishes mouths which sounds painful.

  16. Aaron

      someone nameless once compared this issue with soliciting a prostitute: you roll up to the red light, lean out the window to assess the prostitutes’ faces (and genders) then decide who gets in the car. but only when you see them in a better light (like in the car or at the motel) can you truly see who you have in your net.

      i’ve never done that, nor would i, so this seems more like catch-and-release fishing to me. and that leaves marks in fishes mouths which sounds painful.

  17. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      How many times have we all read stuff by our favorite people and found we liked (or in some abstract sense, recognized the quality of) but did not love these pieces? You do not need to be an editor to get this. I feel like people should get this. It does not bother me not to be loved. Love is too intangible for it to bother me. Who wants to be loved by everyone? That much love would be a nightmare, wouldn’t it? I think it’s far more devastating to be told you haven’t met some more basic or more objective standard, b/c then you begin to question your judgment. I find I’m significantly more distraught when my judgment is questioned than when a particular work isn’t loved. Although I think even questioning one’s judgment (probably repeatedly) is a critical part of this process.

  18. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      How many times have we all read stuff by our favorite people and found we liked (or in some abstract sense, recognized the quality of) but did not love these pieces? You do not need to be an editor to get this. I feel like people should get this. It does not bother me not to be loved. Love is too intangible for it to bother me. Who wants to be loved by everyone? That much love would be a nightmare, wouldn’t it? I think it’s far more devastating to be told you haven’t met some more basic or more objective standard, b/c then you begin to question your judgment. I find I’m significantly more distraught when my judgment is questioned than when a particular work isn’t loved. Although I think even questioning one’s judgment (probably repeatedly) is a critical part of this process.

  19. Lincoln

      When james has solicited people before for Gigantic but then we decided to reject them he makes me do the rejection and write up an excuse like “Oh, I’m sorry James fell into the hippo cage at the snow and had both hands mangled by hippo teeth and is unable to email you back. Please don’t contact him in anger about this rejection, because the doctor says any more stress may kill him.”

  20. Lincoln

      When james has solicited people before for Gigantic but then we decided to reject them he makes me do the rejection and write up an excuse like “Oh, I’m sorry James fell into the hippo cage at the snow and had both hands mangled by hippo teeth and is unable to email you back. Please don’t contact him in anger about this rejection, because the doctor says any more stress may kill him.”

  21. Lily Hoang

      james DIDN’T really fall into a hippo cage!?! seriously!?

  22. Lily Hoang

      james DIDN’T really fall into a hippo cage!?! seriously!?

  23. Lily Hoang

      way to make a rational argument to make all of us feel like jerks. thanks, tim.

  24. Lily Hoang

      way to make a rational argument to make all of us feel like jerks. thanks, tim.

  25. james yeh

      you have no idea how hard it is right now for me to type these comments with my mangled hands

  26. james yeh

      you have no idea how hard it is right now for me to type these comments with my mangled hands

  27. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      hahaha. I so don’t think of myself as even remotely rational. Was that rational? Maybe there’s hope.

  28. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      hahaha. I so don’t think of myself as even remotely rational. Was that rational? Maybe there’s hope.

  29. Sean

      Have you ever had weaker work accepted because the editor asked you for it? Be honest now. Just saying…

  30. Sean

      “Weaker” being your own author opinion, obviously.

  31. Lily Hoang

      yes. of course. and you, sean?

  32. Lily Hoang

      yes. of course. and you, sean?

  33. Sean

      Indeed.

      I am a mistress to shame.

  34. Rebekah Silverman

      I consider that, and I don’t promise to take it. I just say I’d like to look at it. Sometimes I make the other staff the bad guys, and say I have to ask them if they’d like it. And often they do. And sometimes they don’t. It’s not a foolproof system by any means.

  35. Rebekah Silverman

      I’m sorry I left last night. I had glass in my foot.

  36. Rebekah Silverman

      I consider that, and I don’t promise to take it. I just say I’d like to look at it. Sometimes I make the other staff the bad guys, and say I have to ask them if they’d like it. And often they do. And sometimes they don’t. It’s not a foolproof system by any means.

  37. Rebekah Silverman

      I’m sorry I left last night. I had glass in my foot.

  38. Michael Fischer

      I realize that the OP can’t be too specific, but it’s difficult to comment on this matter without knowing what actually made the work “weaker” compared to the writer’s other work.

  39. Michael Fischer

      I realize that the OP can’t be too specific, but it’s difficult to comment on this matter without knowing what actually made the work “weaker” compared to the writer’s other work.

  40. Lily Hoang

      that’s a lovely image, sean, you being a mistress to shame. better that than whore to guilt?

  41. Lily Hoang

      that’s a lovely image, sean, you being a mistress to shame. better that than whore to guilt?

  42. mimi

      If you gotta ask…

  43. mimi

      If you gotta ask…

  44. mimi

      I think we gotta see that ZOOM shot.

  45. mimi

      I think we gotta see that ZOOM shot.

  46. Anonymous Author

      After getting my work solicited by various editors who know my published writing, my rule is now that I always say no thank you. I prefer my pieces getting accepted on their merit, and I get annoyed when someone asks me for a submission and then doesn’t take it. Of course, they have a right to, and I respect them for it, but I find it annoying, and I can’t help that. So I politely decline. A few years ago a certain well-known NYC mag asked me for something, and I declined. The editor kept writing me back, seeming to take my “rejection” of her solicitation as a challenge. After about three exchanges, I gave in and sent something. The issue she solicited for came out and my piece wasn’t in it. She didn’t have the grace to send me a rejection. Now I’ve learned my lesson. I’d tell editors not to ask people to send them stuff. At best a nice note saying something like we’d always be interested in considering your work for our publication would be OK.

  47. Anonymous Author

      After getting my work solicited by various editors who know my published writing, my rule is now that I always say no thank you. I prefer my pieces getting accepted on their merit, and I get annoyed when someone asks me for a submission and then doesn’t take it. Of course, they have a right to, and I respect them for it, but I find it annoying, and I can’t help that. So I politely decline. A few years ago a certain well-known NYC mag asked me for something, and I declined. The editor kept writing me back, seeming to take my “rejection” of her solicitation as a challenge. After about three exchanges, I gave in and sent something. The issue she solicited for came out and my piece wasn’t in it. She didn’t have the grace to send me a rejection. Now I’ve learned my lesson. I’d tell editors not to ask people to send them stuff. At best a nice note saying something like we’d always be interested in considering your work for our publication would be OK.

  48. Sean

      I call “ouch” on that one, anon.

  49. Sean

      I call “ouch” on that one, anon.