Posted by on Mar 21, 2006 in Uncategorised | 4 Comments

So, I’ve been doing this a couple of days now and I’ve been very nice. Enough nice!

Today I’ve had a story rejected. Now, believe it or not, I cope well with rejection, but sometimes I do wonder how much of a masochist a writer has to be to survive. A science fiction journal in the USA, which shall be nameless, accompanied the rejection with the following commment: ‘You write well, but a spell check would help you get published. Things like recognise are just basic mistakes that should have been ironed out before you sent your story.’

Hmmm. So British English no longer exists. Idiosyncratic spelling is a bit of a bummer, I agree, and I wouldn’t expect every editor to know that over here we feel recognise, aluminium and colour are correctly spelt. (Don’t get me started on nuclear by the way.) But, and it’s just a tiny little but, I did say, at the top of my submission – British spelling used throughout. Because, you see, I have had this experience before with science fiction journals and try to anticipate such contingencies.

So I’m miffed. And while I’m miffed, let me add a couple of other rejection irritations:

  • Editors who send comments in pencil (you know who you are, and you’re a science fiction journal too!) which gives the impression they’re not trusted with anything as grown up as a pen
  • Editors who send back the story’s cover page with no comments
  • Editors who address me as Kate. I mean, it’s not as if they heard wrong when we were introduced in person or anything; my name is right there at the top of the page, and quite often at the bottom too, depending on submission guidelines.

I anticipate a flood of comments detailing much more annoying rejections – so let loose the dogs of literary war!


  1. Tribeless
    21st March 2006

    Editors not getting back to me about a submission at all. And then not replying to queries.

    Liking the new blog Kate, sorry, Kay.

    Mark Hubbard

  2. Steve Kane
    21st March 2006

    Dear Editor,

    Things like not reading the “British spelling used throughout” caveat at the top of my submission are just basic oversights that should have been noticed before you sent your rejection.

    The buffoon.

  3. Writer Woman
    22nd March 2006

    Sorry Kay. I hate to admit most of the people I know here in the good old USA are not aware of the different spellings. But an editor should know. My opinion.

    Good to read your blog. Long time no talk.

    Ann Hite

  4. David Veronese
    2nd April 2006

    Really sweet blog, Kay. I once queried an agent in New York. He replied by stuffing the SASE with advertisements for his services and books. And then once I received the SASE back empty… Colour and flavour look so much nicer


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