Monday, July 23, 2007

Rate the Rejection -- RHINO

Et tu, RHINO? You're in Evanston, I'm in Chicago. Our zip codes share four digits. We are practically family.

You should be NICE to your FAMILY.

Rating Summary

Dear Editors,

I understand. Publishing a literary magazine is hard. All of us writers/masochists send you reams of paper filled with our scribblings, but we're all too cheap to pony up for a subscription. Probably the last issue was partially funded by your grandmother. And I am quite confident that you are not getting paid for your hard work, or not enough.

But surely, surely you or your intrepid band of interns could find a way to raise the 50 bucks you need to buy a paper cutter. Heck, your local office store will let you use theirs for free. It's a small thing, but for those of us on the receiving end of your rejection slips, it helps to get something that doesn't look like it was cut out by a third grader.

Also, it is absolutely right for you to push subscriptions. As mentioned above, we submitters are, on the whole, self-interested cheapskates, and you deserve more support. However, it would help if you provided some explanation, not merely a subscription form or the somewhat bewildering listing of current and back issue prices. If you're not ready to make your case, leave it out. You understand if we are not eager to give you money right after being told that, unfortunately, we do not meet your needs at this time.

The Writers

The Grade: D. Uniformly crappy in paper, cutting, and ink quality. A fine example of the form. Only a relatively snappy turnaround time of 8 weeks saves it from rejection perfection, which in this case means abject failure.

Click here for more about the Rate the Rejection series and links to other rejections I've rated.


Anonymous said...

Yes we are "self-interested" as writers, but poetry and fiction is also a bit self-indulgent. What I don't think some writers realize is that we are competing not just against millions of other MFA's and amateur writers but against the NFL, Jerry Springer, Ipods, video games and peach sorbet ice cream.

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