Please welcome HRJ

New members stop in and say hello.

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Re: Please welcome HRJ

Postby HRJ » 29 Oct 2012, 06:31

FranW wrote:If you got into the MZB anthos, you're definitely doing something right! That's always been a hard market to crack.


Well, in the interests of full disclosure, I was working for her magazine when I sold the first one. So while I'm not going to discount the quality of my writing (I'm practicing being self-confident here), I may have had a slight advantage in terms of standing out in the slush pile.
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Re: Please welcome HRJ

Postby ElaineB » 29 Oct 2012, 08:31

Well, you still had to be good enough. Maybe better--wouldn't want there to be any hint of impropriety, you'd think. :-)
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Re: Please welcome HRJ

Postby Sacchi » 29 Oct 2012, 15:40

Welcome, HRJ. My alter-ego is a fellow MZB alumna, but just from the magazine. Got shot down twice from the anthologies. I'm really nostalgic for those days.
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Re: Please welcome HRJ

Postby ElaineB » 29 Oct 2012, 22:56

You're nostalgic for the days of getting shot down? ;)
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Re: Please welcome HRJ

Postby Proofrdr » 29 Oct 2012, 23:34

lol That was my first thought too! After "Wow, they were at MZB!"
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Re: Please welcome HRJ

Postby Sacchi » 30 Oct 2012, 03:18

ElaineB wrote:You're nostalgic for the days of getting shot down? ;)


Well, maybe not that part. But both of those rejections came after MZB passed away and others were handling the anthos. I miss the days when writers would kid about trying to collect the complete set of Marion's famous rejection letters. I never got any interesting ones (except the acceptance.)
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Re: Please welcome HRJ

Postby Proofrdr » 30 Oct 2012, 05:27

I'd say that was the most important one, Sacchi. ;)
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Re: Please welcome HRJ

Postby FranW » 30 Oct 2012, 06:02

Was it MZB who sent out the form rejection with the boxes she ticked off? And Shawna who had the blue form of death, the yellow form of death....
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Re: Please welcome HRJ

Postby wildlx » 30 Oct 2012, 07:19

Welcome, HRJ :wave:!
A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion. “The Woman-Identified Woman” Radicalesbians (1970)
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Re: Please welcome HRJ

Postby HRJ » 30 Oct 2012, 15:17

Sacchi wrote:Well, maybe not that part. But both of those rejections came after MZB passed away and others were handling the anthos. I miss the days when writers would kid about trying to collect the complete set of Marion's famous rejection letters. I never got any interesting ones (except the acceptance.)


It would have taken some creativity to collect the whole set of rejection letters. A number of the "reason" options got retired over the years, with others added to the checklist as new patterns emerged from the slush pile. And then there was the problem that the short-hand version of the reason on the checklist (yes, there really was a checklist -- it was part of the coversheet printed out for each story as part of the log-in process) wasn't always the best mnemonic for what the actual rejection text said. (The letters themselves were generated by a mail-merge sort of program.) So filling your bingo card of rejections wouldn't have been simply a matter of tailoring submissions to trigger the known rejection texts, but rather of second-guessing how to trigger the checklist mnemonic. (I can't bring to mind the mis-matches between checklist and text that I noticed, but the shorthands included things like "inelastic typeface" and "convenient earthquake".)

I don't know whether MZB's attempt to provide more personalized rejections while still reviewing somewhere on an average of 40 submissions per day ended up being all that much more helpful than a simple "does not meet our needs at this time" would have been, but it was her baby and that's how she wanted it. And she really did read every single submission all the way through; that part wasn't just a myth.
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