From the mind of Megan Arkenberg

August 6, 2012

Editorese to English, Lesson I

Posted by Megan Arkenberg with 5 comments
When an editor (i.e. me) says "not quite what I'm looking for," she may mean:
  • This is so poorly proofread I can't believe you thought it was ready for publication.
  • I'm underwhelmed.
  • I didn't get it. Was that supposed to be a pun at the end?
  • I'm underwhelmed.
  • This isn't even the right genre what the heck people it's in the magazine's URL/header!
  • I'm underwhelmed.
  • This is a perfectly good story. However, I know what I want for my magazine and I know this isn't it, though I can't give a specific reason why or how.
What I've learned today while reading slush:
  • A lot of recent submissions to Mirror Dance and Lacuna have been underwhelming.
  • There is no polite way to say that someone's writing is underwhelming.


  1. You should give us the whole truth, Megan. Us writers can take it.

    No, wait, no we can't! You should keep on doing what you're doing.

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