thanks, but no thanks

I received a rejection letter this week for “The Respite Room.” (You’ll probably remember that that story was accepted by Little Patuxtent Review and should appear in print next week.) The rejection came from phati’tude Literary Magazine for a simultaneous submission I had made of that story back in November.

I don’t recall why I had thought that phati’tude might be a possible market for my story. I’m sure I found the publication on Duotrope’s Digest, and perhaps part of the description there made me consider it. As I said, I don’t recall the specifics, but I must have felt some inclination.

Anyway, when the story was accepted by the Little Patuxent Review I sent an email to phati’tude to withdraw my submission. I promptly received an automated response thanking me for my submission. It wasn’t a submission, of course, but the substance of my email never made it past their firewall.

The formal (though automated) rejection from phati’tude included two attachments, which were further form letters. The email described the nature of the next edition, which, it turns out, is nothing at all suitable for the type of story I had sent.

But the point of my rant is that the magazine had never made clear on its website the nature of their upcoming edition. I obviously would not have submitted that story if I had known. And the fact that my withdrawal email met with an automated and inappropriate response tells me that there is something broken there.

It’s a buyer’s market though. The magazines know there are far more stories than there are places for them. I know that a rejection can’t always be personal, but . . .

Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, Rants and ruminations

2 Comments on “thanks, but no thanks”

  1. Annam Says:

    That’s happened to me before. Once I even received a rejection from someone at a journal only to have it accepted later by someone else. That was strange. They never said anything about the mistake, and I never questioned it.

  2. lauramaylene Says:

    It seems like many, many magazines do not check their general email accounts or withdrawal notices at all. I can’t even count the number of rejections I’ve received for stories I’d already withdrawn. I chalk it up to these journals probably receiving thousands of emails, including crazy questions, demands, and withdrawals of all sorts. It’s probably just easier for some journals to ignore all the noise and just carry on with their business.

    With that said, some publications are very organized and their staffs are cheerful and supportive. I have received responses to withdrawal emails in which the editor congratulates me, ask where the story got picked up, etc.

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