This message is a long time coming. I will try and be as nice about it as possible, as I am a polite, approachable sort of person, but I am afraid I have to don my editor’s cap. There are Rules:
1) As writers, we often miss deadlines. I am guilty of it myself–just three weeks ago, in fact. I realized how selfish I had been when I considered what happens when writers ignore Rose Red Review‘s deadline. The deadline is in place to give me some time to compile the issue, to work on my own writing, and to give me a bit of a break from editing. Don’t get me wrong–I love what I do–but I am entitled to a break. When I open Submittable the first day of a reading period, and I see there are already fifty individual submissions, most with six poems apiece, dated between the previous deadline and the new reading period, I feel a little stressed. Please only submit work during the open reading period.
In the future, if writers continue to send work outside the reading period, I will have to reject it outright.
2) This rule is unspoken: please try and avoid submitting your work in the three days before the deadline. It won’t be read first. It will be read last. In some cases, as has been the case with the Spring issue, there will be far too many submissions for me to read before the issue is due to go live. I am one woman. I do not have readers. I understand many writers will view it as my fault, but this publication is new. I have prior experience as head editor of a junior college publication (and as a reader, for one of the big print publications), but most students submitted their work the first week of the new reading period. I presumed internet writers would, in their excitement, follow suit. I was not prepared for the last minute influx of submissions. The Spring issue will, therefore, be delayed. Perhaps taking on a reader would solve this problem, but again, if you submit work last minute, because you believe it will be read first, that is not the case with Rose Red Review.
3) I am not “Sir.” I am not “Sirs.” I am “Miss Nash,” “Larissa,” “Editor,” or “Madam.” Please do not submit a cover letter without determining the editor’s sex and title first. It’s a bit impolite.
4) If you are a high school teacher, Rose Red Review is not a practice publication for your students. I feel uncomfortable rejecting high school students, both because I know them to be sensitive, and because I see potential in their work–potential that will likely be realized in college and graduate school. Young writers do not produce the polished work I seek. Encouraging entire classes of young writers to submit to the publication does not benefit anyone.
5) Please do not send e-mail submissions. Please send submissions through Submittable.
6) If you are rejected, please accept it gracefully. I can empathize. Rejection sucks. I am not trying to hurt your feelings. If your work is rejected, that doesn’t mean it is bad. It simply means your work isn’t what I’m looking for. Please do not send me angry letters and demands. It won’t change my mind. If you are confrontational, know that I do not owe you a response. If you politely request to know why I did not accept your work, that is a different story. If you are polite, I will respond. Most editors will not. I know how much of yourselves you put into your work. I don’t want anyone to be upset. Please do not lash out at me.
7) Please do not dismiss the publication on the whole if you have been rejected. There are a lot of talented folks here, and doing so hurts THEM.
It is important to note that we live in the Internet Age. Online publications are fast becoming as valued as print publications. Rose Red Review is here to stay, and I fully intend to build its reputation as one of quality.
That said, I will have to adjust future deadlines to a month before the publication is scheduled to go live. I had intended to give everyone at least three months to submit work, but as most writers submit their work the last week of the reading period and two weeks past the deadline, I feel I am not cheating anyone in shortening the reading period.
I am very sorry to delay the Spring 2013 publication. It will not be delayed long; however, as I currently have nearly 500 individual pieces to read, I cannot commit to a date at this time. (Although I *do* wish I could commit to April 1st–wouldn’t that be fun?) The necessary changes will take place next reading period, which will begin, not on March 30th, but instead on April 15th. The reading period will end May 21st. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Rose Red Review