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Will Entrekin on professionalism issues related to editor/writer correspondence.

Wil Shetterly links to the article and offers his views.

A discussion follows.

Nicked from slapfights, your online source of energetic discourse.

I am a little baffled by "If an editor rejects you, the only proper response is to send that editor another submission." That's a response but what if it's clear that that the set of things you will ever write does not overlap with the set of things the editor will ever buy? What are you accomplishing by sending them more work? It just ties the material up for the duration of a rejection cycle.

Digression: How does ownership of the words in letters work again? IIRC the physical document belongs to the person who receives it but who owns the actual words? I know how it works in the UK because of the Diana letters but not how it works in Canada or the US.

[Added later: and how does this apply to email, where there's not really anything physical involved, aside from the medium on which the email is stored?]

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When I was slushing, I figured out very quickly how little of a story you need to read to know if it's worth reading more (With really special stories, the title alone is enough.) I frequently would keep reading long past that point (sometimes for the whole story, but I read quickly), just to see if I was wrong. I never was--bad stories stay bad the whole way through.

I also went with a generic more-or-less form letter--something like "Thank you for your submission, "X". Unfortunately, it's not quite what we're looking for, good luck placing it elsewhere." If I liked the story, even while it wasn't good enough to get past me, I might throw some suggestions in there as well, but I went with such a generic letter specifically to avoid having people argue with me about the rejection. Of course, this didn't always work--I once rejected the same guy three times in a row, and he wrote in with a snit because he ran an online magazine, and really he deserved to be rejected by the editor-in-chief, not just a slush reader.

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