a one-time fling or a long-term relationship?

So clue me in. Just how is one supposed to react after getting a story accepted by an editor? I mean aside from turning cartwheels and such.

I’ve always thanked the editor and praised his or her exceptional taste in fiction after I get the news that a story is accepted. And I generally send a follow-up gushing of thanks after the story actually appears. But beyond that?

Should I be trying to maintain a relationship with the editor and/or publication? Friend them on Facebook? Is that more or less expected? Or is the transaction completed and ’nuff said?

In a couple of cases, I have kept up tenuous email conversations with editors (or left comments on their blogs). I’m not sure why other than that we have the common interest of writing and fiction (and because they wrote back). But I haven’t pursued this with all of the editors who’ve accepted my stories. And I haven’t done this with the intent to grease the wheels for future acceptances. (Though three publications have accepted second stories of mine.) In fact, I fear that these people get so many, many emails that the last thing they want is for someone to be knocking on their door with no purpose beyond staying in contact.

I’ve also been in a circumstance where I could have arranged to have lunch with a certain editor since I was in her town. Does that seem reasonable to pursue? Or creepy? (My few meet ups with fellow bloggers have not been successful. In one case I was so disillusioned that I stopped contact altogether.)

I realize, of course, that there is no universal truth about this and that each situation should be dealt with according to its own evolution. But I wonder if there is some norm, some generally accepted level of dialog for this.

What do you do?

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4 Comments on “a one-time fling or a long-term relationship?”

  1. Annam Says:

    I usually just thank them and leave it at that. If I happen to see a story they have published, or see that they have won an award, I might send a congrats email. I’ve only contacted an editor once for personal reasons (he and his wife were moving here), and I thought it gracious being that the writing world is small here that if he needed any help or introductions, I could help. We ended up becoming great friends, so you never know I suppose…


  2. I’m not good about follow-up on publications. This is probably not a good thing. But liking them on Facebook (if you use Facebook) is a good way to keep in casual contact.

  3. donnaeve Says:

    I think once the story is accepted, published, etc, unless the editor gives you some sort of direct “stay in touch,” I’d gracefully “disappear…” That is until the next story is ready. I think you can easily reconnect with them then, with a “Last year you accepted my story, and I thought you might interested in my latest.” Blah, blah, and blah.” And like independent clause said above, a like on FB is good…but beyond that I think it starts to get a bit stalker’ish.

  4. pete29anderson Says:

    Send a thank you email, and if they reply with a solid suggestion of wanting to continue the conversation, then do so if you wish. Otherwise, let it go. No obligation on your part (or theirs). You both got what you were looking for – a place for your story, and a story to publish. Editors deal with tons of writers and surely don’t want to be friends with all of them.


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