25 October 2007

It's not you. It's (not) me.

Dear writers of the blogosphere,

How do you feel about journals that send you one-sentence no thanks rejections, accompanied by a subscription form?

I'm not asking because I plan to do this with BOR. I'm asking because I am quite put off by it. If the insert is for a contest I don't find it quite as annoying, but just a regular subscription form. Isn't that spamming? Anyone else less than thrilled about this?

Signed,

Mary Biddinger

13 comments:

Steven D. Schroeder said...

Actually, I like the contest come-ons less than the subscription forms. The contest come-ons are suggesting "Hey, we didn't really like your poems, but add some dead money to the contest pool" or alternately "We'll only seriously consider your poems if you send us money." The subscription form I don't mind so much, though frankly if a journal doesn't have the ability to purchase a subscription online, I'm not very likely to subscribe.

Penultimatina said...

That's so funny, because I kind of read it the opposite way, but now that you've brought it to my attention I think I will be disgusted by the contest forms too.

I hear you re: online purchasing. Thanks for the reminder that we need to set up the BOR paypal...

Karen J. Weyant said...

What annoys me are those journals who reject you and send you subscription forms, when you are already subscribing to said journals! (I hope this post makes sense; it's a tired Friday) :)

Whisper Shifter said...

I got one of those today from a journal too. "Yes, let me be a genius while I read your issue, without me in it!" ;)

Jennifer Sullivan said...

I always wonder if a journal would have been more likely to accept a poem of mine if I had had a subscription. The contest forms piss me off. I figure that, "If I'm not good enough for your journal, why should I pay money for one of your contests?"

Charles said...

I get kind of annoyed, too, when my email address mysteriously ends up on their newsletter list...

jessica said...

Dear Submission Contributer:

Look, you're really not the kind of "poet" we're looking for. Honestly, we'd never publish your kind of writing. But we know...honest to goodness know that you would really like to subscribe to our publication. In fact, we're so sure you'll love us, you should seriously consider wasting 25 dollars on our contest. We need the money. And you need the hope!! It's a win/win! Anyway, we love you and don't love you in a way.

Make sure you fill out our comment card. And please submit again! Best of luck placing your poems!!!

Love and light--

Publisher

Sara said...

That may be the best thing about on-line submissions. No envelope stuffers.

Amy said...

Had same debate 20 years ago at Breadloaf, with the "elders" telling us waiters and waitresses (young, promising poets get to wait tables on successful poets, faculty, and those with $$) that we could forget submitting unless we were subscribers. I hate "pay to play" operations.

Nin Andrews said...

I think it's creepy. But it's so much the way . . . What about the journals that send you a mag sub. form BEFORE they reject you . . .

Andrew Shields said...

When I was at a workshop once, a journal editor commented on this point. He said, "The point is not that you should subscribe to our journal, but that, as a poet, you should subscribe to poetry journals."

John Guzlowski said...

It would be interesting to see how many people do have subscriptions, and how that correlates to acceptances.

I go through phases where I subscribe to everything that comes my way, and time when I don't subscribe to anything.

I find that generally when I'm not subscribing to anything I get more poems accepted.

Don't ask me to explain that.

Please.

Bernadette Geyer said...

I try to buy single copies of journals to see what their "tastes" are before submitting. All of my acceptances so far have been from journals I wasn't subscribed to at the time. Some of my acceptances have led to subscriptions. Personally, I don't mind a "contest come-on" if the editor has actually hand-written a note on my rejection slip saying something like "these came close. please consider submitting to our contest". But if it's a little scrap of paper with "no thanks" pre-printed on it along with marketing materials, that does put me off.