I've written before about how I feel I have become better at handling rejection when a magazine/ezine takes time to contact me - even if it's just a form response - or if they specifically say how they'll announce the outcome. Recent events have made me want to rant about what I can't stand: silence. By silence, I mean when I don't even receive confirmation that my submission has been received.
I submitted a story to a magazine a long time ago...let's call it Magazine A. Now, I wrote the story with Magazine A in mind, because I liked the theme of the upcoming issue, it is published locally (i.e. in the UK) and it seems to have a growing, good reputation.
However, I received no confirmation letting me know whether my submission had been received, and there was no further information or updates regarding the publication of the issue. I even contacted them directly, and the response was frustratingly vague and uninformative. My hackles went up.
I then almost forgot about my story, until I stumbled upon another market about a month ago. Magazine B has entry requirements and content that it looked like my story would also suit. And, luckily, they accept simultaneous submissions. There are some downsides compared to Magazine A, as it isn't local and isn't a physical publication. But I decided to take a shot none the less!
I don't know the outcome for either publication yet, but if by some crazy feat of luck my work was to be accepted to both, I know which magazine I would let publish my writing: Magazine B has sent correspondence, has clear information on the website regarding dates, and has created an atmosphere where I, as a writer, would feel happy and comfortable letting them publish my story.
It may seem crazy to make this decision based on a moral principle rather than which publication would be more likely to help my dream career take off, but I think writers need to be treated with respect. These magazines would not exist if people didn't offer their writing, the result of hours of hard work and labours of love! Why should writers choose to give magazines the privilege of printing their creations if they're not going to be treated courteously and professionally? For the magazines, this is a pathway towards a bad reputation. For writers, it's a pathway towards regret and low self-esteem.
Rant over: mouth firmly shut and fingers still firmly crossed!