Thursday, January 25, 2007


Or, "Electronic Misunderstandings." I reprint this exchange only because it came to an amicable conclusion. I mean, I've had days where I've fired off an email in haste or misinterpreted something. No worries. You don't write someone off for a hasty email, and I'm posting the exchange by permission, just cause it's kinda funny and a slow news day.

Anyway, this was, obviously, a query by someone for the pirate anthology. Who will still be submitting and we'll still be reading it studiously and fairly.

Er, the lesson isn't to abuse editors, though. We're already overworked and underpaid.


Initial query:

Hi there, Captain,

Are you still accepting submissions for your anthology from worthy pirates?

Thanks a lot from your deck buddy, the most fearsome pirate of all,


You cannot escape so easily, Dragon. It is not done between us.It will not be done until the end of time.

My response (in a rush):

Yep--through the end of February.

351st person to use pirate lingo in query or submission email. Congrats!


O My Gawd Response to My Response:

Yeah, I feel you. It is really surprising to see all those people using pirate lingo. Where did they get the ridiculous idea from? How could they not realize that officially representing themselves requires a better style? I really cannot figure this one out. Do you have any idea, maybe? Let's think together. Could it be, by some chance, that they got the remarkably foolish idea from something you did with your site? Could it be, through some unexplainable occurence, that they decided to follow your lead? That they didn't realize they were not supposed to, but were instead intended to guess that they are expected to act as you think, and not as you do? I suppose the fact that you mingled official guidelines for submission with some inane rambling, making it hard to even find on your own site what you want them to do, has nothing to do with it whatsoever? Do you want to hear a piece of advice? Well, obviously you don't, but hey, it's an email, so I'll just go ahead anyway since I have the opportunity. There is a slight risk in building a public personna different from your actual personality. People are superficial and tend to see what you show them, without bothering to look deeper. Do you even fathom how un-professional it is for a self proclaimed editor to project such a public image? How can you be surprised later that somebody, and apparently 351 somebodies are trying to mix business with pleasure and entertain you somewhat in the process of submission. Well guess what, maybe some of us were hoping to make you smile a bit, create a good atmosphere of cooperation. If you are not interested, that is your right, if only you were so kind as to let us know. Don't send mixed signals on your site, and you will not be bored by person number 352. And lastly, when you get to be a Tor, Bantam, or Penguin editor, then you can be bitchy and expect us to take it anyway, since we have to go through you to become big. As things stand, you are not that big, and I while I thought I could find my way with you, I can admit my mistake and find it without you. The loss is truly yours, whether or not you see it at the moment. So, how about that?


At 3:01 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Arrgh! Err...


At 9:45 PM, Blogger Tessa said...

Eeeeeeheheheheh. Hehehe. Heh. Hehe.

At 6:35 AM, Anonymous Paul Jessup said...

I you would have said that to me, I would've celebrated and bought a cake that said

351st person to use pirate lingo in a submission!

That's a cause for celebration!

I'd get tshirts made up. And streamers. And I'd get a pony. And maybe a petting zoo.

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Jim Steel said...

Oh, I'm sooo glad I forgot to put piratisms in my cover letter. Sleep deprivation - it's the writer's friend!

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Kameron Hurley said...

HAHAH AHahaha haha hahah

You know, when I have a bad day, I go off and write more fiction. I do not rant at editors.

Personal preference.

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hey, the guy was reasonable when I emailed him back and actually thought it was funny, too, so gotta give him credit for that!



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