Starting this issue (in fact, starting right now), we will be notifying readers and writers and poets about who has been chosen for each issue via a post here on Enchanted Conversation. In other words, starting now, we will not be sending rejection emails to writings. The announcement for this issue (Cinderella) will be Sunday, August 28, no later than 11:5p pm., EST.
Here is how the process will go:
1) We will continue to acknowledge submissions with emails letting you know that we will be reading the submission.
2) We will let writers and poets know that their work has been chosen for an issue, via email and through a post on this site.
3) We will not be sending any more emails saying we will not be using someone's work.
Why the change? Several reasons. First, we are a skeleton staff. We have chosen to pay writers and poets at a professional rate. This means that the editing staff (currently consisting of only three people, all of whom have other work obligations) works gratis. The fewer steps we have to take the better for the publication.
The second reason is that over time, the rude responses to rejection notices have begun to take their toll. We don't consider ourselves noble or kind, but we do think that sneering responses from people stung by any kind of rejection (no matter how we word it) is bad form. Rejection is not personal. We get rejected as writers all the time, too. If you are a writer or poet, it's just part of the process. By announcing the chosen pieces rather than sending what are usually (but NOT always) form rejections, we can emphasize the positive and avoid emails from outraged writers telling us how stupid we are and how lucky we were to have a writer or poet of his or her caliber even think about having a piece of their work published in our lowly zine.
The sad fact is, when we raised our rates, the submissions increased, but so did the the volume of angry responses to rejection. In fact, the unpleasant emails have risen at a far higher rate than the submissions. The only way to deal with this is to change the process.
The final reason is time. We need it. Desperately. Any small time savings is a huge help. Please keep in mind that we read every submission the whole way through. We pass work we like onto other selection editors. That's where the lion's share of the work is on EC.
We have exciting changes in store for next year, as EC continues to evolve. We think writers, poets and most all, readers, will like the changes. Stick with us. We are hanging in there as well.
Rant over. Thank you. And please remember, the vast majority of people who submit are professional and great to work with, and we feel lucky to get the opportunity to do so, even though we have to turn so many talented people down. A figure to leave you with: We can only accept 5 percent of our submissions on average. That means we turn down a lot of fine work.
PS: The image is "The Fairytale Witch (me)," by Paula Modershon-Becker.