Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Deadline Extended

Tis the season for deadline extensions. I had hoped that the staff and I would be able to saddle up our contest by the end of December. However, due to an influx of stories and scheduling difficulties (ie. family coming into town, Christmas and New Years) we've decided to extend the deadline for a couple of weeks. There's also the little thing called my honeymoon which I'm going on from the 5th of January till the 12th. My wife, made me promise that I wouldn't work while we were on vacation. Being the good husband I am I've decided that it is a good idea to just postpone our deadline two weeks.

Everyone will hear back from us with your customized reviews before February 1st when a new issue will be put up online. If you've already heard from us feel free to submit again--there's no limit to the amount of submissions.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stand by your acceptances...

I was going to do this as my letter for the next issue but F' it, I feel like bloggin' yo.

In Posse Review has been around for a long time. At last count 25 issues. A story of mine was accepted in July of this past year. You can see it now online, it's a small short story doing a small thing. Funny thing about the publication--it was accepted in July but when their issue went up my story wasn't around. Running a literary journal you can imagine my surprise. When you put up an issue missing a story that you'd accepted is a nightmare. It's something that keeps me up at night. So when I didn't see my story I quickly had a panic attack and spasmed my keyboard into action. I wrote the guest editor who had acceptd my story. This is what she had written in July:
I'm happy to say we're accepting What Do You Think for In Posse Review. Please be kind enough to re-send it with your bio pasted in at the end of the story. I'm having cut and paste problems here and am unable to pull off that simple task just now. Should be easier than travelling 8 hours, huh? Thanks very much.
I mean it's clear right? Doesn't get much clearer. Then this is what she wrote after my spasm:
I am very sorry that What Do You Think did not make the final cut- the editor in chief, of course, makes the final call. I must have either been unclear or failed in my "attachment" techniques- but please do know I liked it a lot and that you ought to submit it again or elsewhere if this has done more than puzzled you. I have had similar experiences myself, and it doesn't feel good, I know.
There's no last review, no next round, etc.. When you work at a journal you have to be 100% clear about these things. Now here's my point. Sometimes, it's not about your work. Sometimes it's not about acceptances or rejections. The editors themselves don't have a clue as to what they're doing. The whole incident floored me. There are gatekeepers out there and you just have to plow through rejections and even some acceptances.

So what happened? Well, I went off on this guest editor and cc'd the editor of In Posse Tatyana Mishel who is a damn saint. Within a day she wrote me back and said they had no idea what the guest editor was talking about and put the story up immediately. This is what she said:
I'm so sorry to hear about what's transpired--your story being accepted and
then. If your story was accepted by Margaret, the guest fiction editor, then
it should be accepted. (Do you by any chance have the original email where
she accepted it?) As Editor, I give full reign to our guest editors and do
nothing else than facilitate the story going live. I have never vetoed an
acceptance after the fact.
So this story has a happy ending. However, I want it to be a lesson to all of you. Sometimes a journal out there doesn't have a damn clue. I'm serious. I can't vouch for everyone out there. Not everyone knows good writing--shit--sometimes I don't fn' know good writing (that's why I depend on my staff too) and you should never EVER let this system beat you down. Keep FN' writing. Keep getting your stuff out, ignore your rejections, revise your work till it is accepted and even if it is accepted and then rejected, get it out there again.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A 2003 interview with reviewer and blogger BookSlut and Steve Almond

Steve Almond, who Our Stories will interview in our upcoming issue, talked to BookSlut back in August of 2003 about My Life in Heavy Metal & Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America...

Favorite Steve Almond quote: "We've got an anemic literary culture in this country, and we've got to find a way to make people understand how important literature is. That task sounds gushy, but I really think it's the job of literature to awaken mercy in people."