I need some advice.
Back in November of 2010, I submitted a story to an anthology being edited by someone with lots of credentials and experience. I’m not quite ready to say which anthology or which editor because I don’t want to burn any bridges, but I never received a receipt for my submission. This is fairly common, however, so I didn’t worry.
When I still hadn’t heard anything in February, I sent a follow-up email, like I’m supposed to, asking for an update on the status of the anthology.
When I received no reply to that email, in March I commented on the blog post advertising the anthology.
Still without any update, today I used the contact form on the editor’s website to send him a note asking that he please respond with some information about the anthology.
If I don’t receive a response to this final missive, should I withdraw my story from the anthology? I am loathe to do that, but clearly he’s not interested in it, and there are other places that might be interested in publishing it (even though I wrote it specifically for this anthology).
I guess that’s one of the drawbacks to writing stories specifically for particular anthologies. If a story is rejected, it’s harder to find a new home for it, though I suspect that this one can find a home elsewhere. Hopefully I’ll hear from that editor in the next few days and I can make a decision.
Anyway, what would you do?
Absolutely withdraw the story! It’s always a heartbreak getting a ‘no response’ kind of rejection, but it’s perfectly within your right to withdraw your story for consideration. Especially after the editor hasn’t responded to any query. That kind of behavior doesn’t bode well for the anthology, and indicates that another market might be better for your story after all.
And withdrawing stories only burns bridges with petty, non-professional editors anyway. Like I said, it’s perfectly within your right to do so!
Thanks for the feedback Lorna! I think I will give him a couple of days to respond before I withdraw, just to be polite. Definitely won’t be promoting his anthologies on my blog anymore though.
I’ve heard different takes on this from different writers – something between 2 months and 6 months of non-contact before you withdraw a submission to re-submit elsewhere. In the six month range, that would put you in April – basically where you are now.
It sounds like you’ve done all you can to solicit contact – it just seems to be a fact, in my very limited experience, that this happens to new writers pretty often. I would say, give it two weeks after what you decide is your last attempt to contact the person, and after that point, just send them a polite email saying you are withdrawing your story so that you can submit it elsewhere that you wish them the best, and so on. I think your instinct to not burn bridges is exactly right, and I wouldn’t mention any anthology or editor or agent, etc. by name unless you are already published with them and talking about that, or have a great working relationship and want to say that.
Thanks Doug! I approve of everything you’ve suggested here. I’m a little disappointed about the anthology but since my work is appearing in several others I’m really not that bummed. Hopefully this story will find a happy home elsewhere if I don’t get a response. Poor little homeless story.
Homeless stories – that would be a cool anthology 🙂