Who Am I?

February 25, 2016

Remember a few months back when I was really pissed off at a certain publication for their response? I waited 45 days for their response, gave it a couple more, and then emailed them. They sent me a basic response with no apology, no mention of my long wait, nothing. Naturally, I was pissed!

Just the other day, I received another response from them. It was the exact same email, save for the name of the first reader who responded. I was not one bit surprised, both at the form email, but the rejection as well. Still, I figured I’d try with another story because hey, this place pays well.

At least this time they didn’t spit in my eye.

Anyway…

Something I’m trying is limiting the information I’m giving to publications when I submit a story to them. My cover letters used to have plenty of information about me, giving names of other publications I’ve been in, my college information (I have a BFA in Creative Writing) in case someone cares about that, and either my Facebook address or the address to this blog.

Is that good enough? Am I correct in assuming that editors/publications want to see big named credits, magazines that are the cream of the crop, college/educational credits that scream “this guy has money”? No offense to the pubs I’ve been in, or to Bowling Green State University, but none of them are really big news.

So a big part of me feels like I’m judged before they even read the story. They see these blasé credits and information about me, and make their decision right then and there. “This guy won’t have name recognition,” they’ll proclaim to their hungover staff, “so why would put him in our magazine? He won’t make us any money!”

The same goes for my social media. They go to my Facebook page, see the lack of followers on there (seriously, why aren’t you following me?!), and move on to the next story. Think I’m making it up? Then why is it that I’ll log into Facebook, get the notification that my Myke Edwards page has 1 or 2 new views, and then go check my email a few minutes later, only to see a rejection from 1 or 2 publications?

Coincidence? Possibly. I mean, I have links to my stuff all over, at different forums I post on, at my online workshop, and myriad other places. Still, it seems a little fishy to me.

So I took the possibilities of prejudgment away. Sure, they can Google my name the instant they open my email and see no personal info at all, but why? Can’t they just judge my writing based on the quality of writing and the enjoyment of the story itself?

I’m not saying I agree or disagree with this next part, but it is something to think of. Someone on a forum suggested that since publications are looking for work by people of color, women, and GLBT writers, the fact that I’m a straight white male (three things I did not choose to be, it’s how I was born) is working against me.

AGAIN, I’M NOT SAYING I AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THAT. Still, it makes me wonder. Should I remove any identifying features of myself at all? Should I create a completely new persona/byline to write under?

Is it truly about the story, or the person behind it? Because sometimes, it sure feels like they’re rejecting me, and not the work itself. I mean, no one is straight up telling me my writing sucks, my stories are bad, and that they’ve lost IQ points from reading my slop, so…

Hopefully, providing a lack of info can work towards my benefit. But really, shouldn’t it be the story that does?

It sure used to. Anyone want to prove me right?

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3 Responses to “Who Am I?”

  1. Do you read Karen’s blog? You might find it informational. It’s basically everything you write of in this post, but from an editor’s point of view.

  2. Storymedic said

    Forget about traditional publishing. In the unlikely event they spend an adequate amount of money to promote your book, they’ll proceed to take all your royalties in exchange for their logo in your front matter. It’s not worth it.

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