From the mind of Megan Arkenberg

November 11, 2010

The Gales of November

Posted by Megan Arkenberg with No comments
I'm in a slightly foul mood as I type this, having spent the last four hours trying to catch up on Lacuna slush and failing miserably. I'm very frustrated with the tendency of some authors to use nationalities or--God forbid--"race" as a shorthand for characterization. Russians are Russians, some stories seem to say; surely you know everything you could possibly want to know about Nikolai when I refer to him as "the Russian"? And let's not get started on the bull I see white authors pulling with Native and African American characters. Guys, guys, I thought we'd figured this out by now: stereotypes are harmful. They are evil. They are not literary.

So, yeah. Bit put out about that. And then there's this weird thing going on this submissions period with simultaneous submissions. Now, I may not be the sharpest banana in the rain forest, but when I send a rejection letter at 5:00 Monday afternoon, and you send me a reply at 7:00 Monday evening to say, "Oh, too bad you didn't like the story, it was just accepted by [insert magazine title here]," I know damn well you sent me a simultaneous submission. It's even worse if I sent you an acceptance at 5:00 on Monday. So, simultaneous submissions; don't do them.

Oh, and if you do need to withdraw your story from consideration because you submitted it simultaneously? Don't send the same withdrawal notice to me and twenty-three other editors. You know how I feel when I see twenty-four e-mail addresses on the sendee line? Not pleased, sir. Not pleased at all.


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