Who the #&@! is Matthew?!

June 1, 2014

In my last post, I briefly talked about how I have a new “real world” job, and can’t dedicate 100% of my life to writing and editing. It would be nice, but alas, duty calls. And lately, that’s about all I’ve been doing. I mean, I have been editing my novel, but not as much as I’d like.
However, I can say that the adjustment period is over. I’m back in the saddle, and getting things done (finally!). That isn’t what I want to talk about, though. Not today. I’ve got something much more important to write about today.
I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!
As we all know, I am a writer. An author. A spinner of yarns, a teller of tales. Whatever you call it, I write stories and then submit them to publications in the hopes that a lot of people will read them, and I get paid a couple of bucks.
So about two years ago, I saw a call for an anthology. I wrote a story, busted my ass on it, and sent it in. The editor wrote back, gave me a few suggestions, and I did a nice rewrite. Then I submitted it, and hoped to hear back.
I never did.
In fact, the webpage ceased being updated, all communication ended, and that publication pretty much folded, silently and painfully.
So the story sat there for a while, just collecting dust. Until a few months ago! I found another anthology with a very similar theme. After a fine-tooth lookover, I submitted the story.
Today I got the news.
It was a rejection. No surprise, as that’s the majority of what I get. But it bothered me immensely. Like, more than it really should have.
As you all know, my name is Myke Edwards. For those of you who REALLY know, my real name isn’t Myke Edwards. Let’s not worry about that, but I will say that my first name is Michael. Big shock, huh?
Well anyway, I open up this email, only to see “Hello Matthew,” at the beginning.
Matthew?
Who the fuck is Matthew?!
And my story wasn’t “Forgotten Sons” but they sure seemed to think it was. What the fuck is this shit?!
The rejection was an obvious form, saying that the story wasn’t accepted not because of the writing, but because it was either too similar to a story already accepted, or because it just didn’t fit. Hey, not only do you get my name and story title wrong, but you can’t even be bothered to tell me exactly why?
So I did what any concerned, dejected, pissed off writer would do. I wrote a reply.
I thanked them for their obvious form email. I then proceeded to question their mistake, not only on my name, but the story title as well. While it is probably nothing more than a mistake in their mail merge, I had to say something.
I then proceeded to say that while it is obvious and understandable that I (Michael) am rejected, I had to ask about it. I closed the email by saying whatever the case, point taken—meaning that I “get it” that Michael is rejected, and they don’t need to apologize for their error…although it would sure be nice!
The more I think about it, I’m not overreacting. I understand that editors are busy. They are overloaded, and have a lot more to worry about than personalized rejections to shlubs like me and Matthew. I know I don’t have enough high profile publishing credits to make any editor really give a shit, but come on, people. Have a heart!
I doubt they’ll reply. I hope not. I hope they read it, cry, and question their life choices. Who knows, maybe I’ll inspire them to give up publishing and go into charity work, or feeding the homeless? Maybe something good will come of this!
But probably not. Realistically, I’ll probably get placed on a blacklist, and get a super nasty reply from them within a month or two. One that’ll make me cry, most likely.
Tears or no, you’ll hear about it here, make no mistake.
Still, what a kick in the crotch.

UPDATE – I just checked out the website for the publisher, and they were cool enough to put up a list of accepted stories. I only say this because that seems like it never happens. My name wasn’t on there, and I’m still mad at them, though.

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