Today, I saw in my inbox I had received a response to a poetry submission I sent off maybe 3 or so months ago. This is what they said:
Thank you for your interest in and submission to [Journal Name]. We are currently reading submissions and will make our final selections by the end of September. Please feel free to contact us if you have not received a reply to your submission by October 1st.
I guess it’s nice and all to receive this, if I was wondering what was taking so long. . . but now it’s given me false hope. I think I’d rather they just have said, “Dear JC, um. . . no,” as opposed to this in-between fandango.
Editors, kindly note: Either a yes, or no, please. Or, if you must “thank” me for the submission, send it as an auto-reply just as soon as I sent the poems to you. Don’t prolong the agony, and wait till 3 months have already passed to tell me you received the submission and wil be making a decision soon. I’ve pretty much already decided it’s a lost cause.
Talk about procrastination!
Well, to be serious, some places can’t read over the summer.
JC — this happened to me when I submitted to Existere last year. They’d had the submission for about 4 months, then emailed to say so sorry, they hadn’t gotten to it, but they would consider my poems for their spring issue. Then they emailed me about 2 months later to ask if they could reserve 2 poems while they made final decisions. Luckily those decisions were made in about 2 weeks, but it was an unusual experience for me — made worth it by their acceptance of one poem.
What I don’t love are L-O-N-G waits that end with form rejections. If you’re going to reject my poems after all that time, I want a little sugar in recompense…
Yeah, I’ve had a few of those. It’s just an official notification that you’re still in No Man’s Land. Buona fortuna!
Worst case of all: inquire after six months and get the reply, “We rejected those a long time ago, but we lost your contact information.”
Bob is so sardonic. That dry wit slays me. I guess they’re trying to tell you that you’re still in the running. I agree, give a quick receipt of poem, and then the yes or the no. Hey, at least you’re sending your poems out. Even a 50 /50 acceptance rate is considered very good.