News Item #8

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.

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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.

Warm Regards,
Larissa Nash
Rose Red Review

  • Dear Editor,
    I was going to submit a piece to you, and then I read your latest post (which I thought was very well written and fair, let me add!). I want to respect your guidelines and submit within your deadlines, but was unable to find any submission deadlines on your site. It seems like the spring guideline has already passed, judging from your post, so I won’t be a noob and submit at this time. But it would be great to get your publication schedule so that I know when it would be appropriate to submit in the future.
    Thanks so much!
    Rachel

  • Greetings and Felicitations:

    I once tried editing for about three months, then took a sabbatical from it. I’m still enjoying that sabbatical 35 years later. Take a little advice, if you would, from someone who most likely is two to three times your age: get a few first-readers. Nothing is hated more than a first-reader, nor more essential. Just someone to joyfully remove those items that obviously came to the wrong address. Or stuff like mine, when I have had a really bad day (or perhaps too good of a day). And, if you expect rational thought from writers, you are, indeed, expecting too much. If I wanted to do anything practical with writing, I’d be doing those bizarre porn novels that are at the top of the e-book charts, and even the NY Times Best Sellers List. Or I’d work as a mathematician for the oil industry. Sane and writing do not belong in the same paragraph, or perhaps even the same novel. I think you will find you have to treat your writers like a herd of cats.

    Your efforts are appreciated. Don’t make it any harder on yourself than you must. Writers are like children: if you set stern limits for them and stick with them, they will learn to adapt, and end up better people for it. Every so often I meet a writer I want to body slam, and then that is followed by meeting the sweetest, most thoughtful writer any can meet. Funny thing is, same thing happens when meeting car salesmen.

    Let me (us, for I am sure there are like minded) know how we can help. Beyond that, keep swinging away.