On acceptances, rejections, and lying in blogs

Jun 9th, 2009 | By | Category: CG Blog

This has been bothering me since I began this blog, so I decided to clear things up.

When it first came time to talk about our acceptance/rejection process, I realized that there would come a point each month where we’d emailed all the writers whose stories we’d accepted, but hadn’t yet sent out rejection letters. Because of the daily blog posts, any other writer who’d submitted a story could infer that since they hadn’t heard from us, their story had been rejected. (NOTE: This isn’t always true. More on that later.)

This is a situation/problem that’s fairly unique to Crossed Genres. With other magazines, even if they announce on their blogs that they’ve filled an issue, it doesn’t mean anything about other submissions because those submissions could be accepted for a future issue. But because of CG’s monthly “theme” genres, once an issue is full the other submissions from that month aren’t going to be valid for the next genre (except VERY rarely – I think this has happened twice total for us so far).

I wanted to take away that possibility, since I felt it was wrong for a writer to find out about a rejection that way. So I started fudging the truth slightly. I would write that we hadn’t quite made our final choices, when in fact we had; I wrote that we hadn’t emailed all the acceptance letters, even though we had.

This is ridiculous, and I’m not okay with doing it anymore – my reasoning for doing it was flawed anyway. For example… I’ve said this before, but I’m going to repeat it: Until you have actually received correspondence from us, assume nothing. This applies even if I’ve written that all the writers for the particular issue have been contacted. There’s always the chance that a problem will occur and we can’t use one of the first stories we’ve chosen. So until we’ve actually got contracts for all the stories sorted, nothing is definite. There are always a few stories that we hang onto just in case this happens, and yes, it HAS happened. (And in case you’re thinking “That sucks, it means I wasn’t good enough except as a backup!”, please read my previous post on what rejections really mean.)

Another problem with this massaging the facts: it defeats the purpose of this blog. The entire point of these daily posts is to show what really goes into running a semipro magazine… well, if the posts aren’t true, you’re not really seeing that, are you?

I know it wasn’t exactly a major infraction (and most likely no one would ever have known if I hadn’t mentioned it) but it’s really been bothering me, so I decided to just cut it short now. I apologize to anyone who feels misled. It won’t happen again.

For the record: for Issue 8, we’ve contacted all the contributors. I’ve heard back from 4 of them – the other wasn’t contacted all that long ago, so we’ll give that a bit more time before trying again. I sent out a few rejection letters today, but still have a good many left to go. (Remember, assume nothing!)

Other things I did today: did some digging for contact info for a few people we want to ask to contribute to future issues. This was specifically for Issue 12 (Genre: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender) – it’s a ways away, but we try to plan these out well in advance so people have as much time as possible to work on their contributions (if they agree to contribute that is).

I also corresponded with some current and past contributors about various things: contracts, subscriptions, etc. I moderated some ads on Project Wonderful… traffic to the site continues to be solid, much better so far this month than we anticipated (*KNOCKS WOOD*)

Flash Fiction Contest! Submissions accepted through Sunday ONLY! Less than a week left to get ’em in! And of course, we’re still accepting Alternate History submissions for Issue 9, plus Novel, Novella and Webcomic submissions.

Last comment: WorldCon! It’s in Montreal this year, August 6-10. We’ll be there! Anyone else planning to attend?

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