No Revising Once You Submit

This always seemed like an obvious courtesy to me, but maybe I’ve been sitting behind the editor’s desk too long.  I had to add a note to the submission guidelines today.  Far too many people have been submitting poems by email, then sending another note the next day asking if we can delete a line or fix a typo, or swap in a new version of the poem altogether.  I think what happens is that they notice errors in their poems in my receipt reply.

It might not seem like a big deal to make a change to a poem, but when you’re trying to log and read thousands of poems a week, these little inconveniences add up.  And with email submissions, we can’t directly edit a sheet of paper — emails are pretty much concrete.  So we have to edit the poem, forward it back to ourselves, and then log it in all over again.  It’s very annoying, and with one-and-a-half employees, we don’t have time to be annoyed.

That submitters should be proofreading their work before they send it to us goes without saying.  Similarly, if you’re still working on a revising a poem it’s not ready to submit.  Give it a week or a month or a year.

What’s more, we don’t care about little typos at all.  We’re not going to toss a poem in the trash because it’s should be its, or you spelled verisimilitude wrong.  Mistakes happen.  We’re too picky about the poems we like to be picky about line edits.

5 thoughts on “No Revising Once You Submit

  1. Of course, you can always avoid the problem of not spelling big words correctly (ahem, verisimilitude) by not using them in the first place – always works for me! 🙂

    A little “before the deadline” humor there.

  2. Speaking of contests – maybe there should be a blog poster contest to win a Rattle t-shirt – sometimes I come and read the daily Rattle poem, but don’t quite have the energy to post. Would be nice to read what other people’s opinions are…with all the people entering the CONTEST, seems like a few more of the entrants could read the poems on the blog and POST COMMENTS (hint, hint)…

    …just a suggestion…

  3. Haha, I love it, Anoth — and you’d definitely win!

    Honestly, with the blog format over there, I wasn’t really sure if people would comment or not. The blog is really nice for ease-of-updating and RSS feeding, and things like that, but I was thinking it might be weird to comment when the poet’s not really there listening. And then when people leave comments complimenting the poem, I never feel like it’s my right to say, “Thanks!”

    I like that you comment, though. It sets a good example. If we ever make Rattle t-shirts, I’ve got one with your name on it!

  4. Background spottingby request-type.

    “Can you give me a couple of options for retaking the quiz?”

    = one who has never taught.

    “Can you please delete the extra comma in the poem I submitted yesterday?”

    = one who has never managed/edited/judged writing events (or perhaps, ever submitted to same…)

    “Can you just drop in a water filter once you’ve fixed the garbage disposal?”

    = one who has never plumbed.

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