What’s that editor thinking, anyway?

Posted on 18 October 2010

I found this on the American Literary Review‘s blog — Zach VandeZande, the journal’s assistant fiction editor, offers a glimpse into what it’s like to have to reject great stories and how he wishes he could reach out to the writers who impress him:

The heartbreaking job of the assistant fiction editor

“The upside is that I’ve read some great things so far, and I’m going to continue reading great things. So many times over the past few weeks, something has come along in a story that has knocked me flat on my ass. Just now, it happened again. Every time this happens, I want to call the number on the cover letter, I want to ring someone up at this late hour and say, “Hey, look, I don’t care what happens from here on out, but this one sentence, right here on page 4. Hell, you’ve done it.”

Wouldn’t you love to be on the receiving end of that late-night call from one of the journals that currently has your work? Sure, it would be weird and possibly creepy, but still kind of great. And then the feeling of flattery might turn to fury when you realize that despite this “You are awesome” phone call, they’re not accepting the story anyway. But still. I’d take it.

Photo: Americatidol


4 responses to What’s that editor thinking, anyway?

  • margosita says:

    So glad you posted this. I really loved that post, and thought I suscribe to the American Literary Review blog there is a good chance it could have gotten lost in the shuffle of Google Reader.

    And yeah, I’d enjoy the late night creepy call. Even if only to praise a single sentence. I could live on that moment for a week.

  • margosita says:

    )*though, not thought)

  • Averil Dean says:

    Yeah, I’d take that call and do a happy dance in my jammies.

  • Daniel says:

    I’m not sure how I’d take to it… I’d be torn. I’d probably want to argue about why the entire piece isn’t being accepted…

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