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Thread: [Magazine] The Washington Pastime

  1. #1
    Slayer of Adverbs Brett Marie's Avatar
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    [Magazine] The Washington Pastime

    If you're sending out the best short story you've ever written and can't understand why it's being rejected by everyone, send it over to the good people at the Washington Pastime. They have a turnaround of only a few days, and every rejection I've received from them has a line specifically commenting on why my submission didn't make the cut.

    Hopefully soon I'll be hearing why they accepted a story of mine.

  2. #2
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    The Washington Pastime

    Their site.

    So this publisher has been on our discussion plate for some time over at W1S1, and curious minds are wondering if anyone has had any experience with them, like had a story accepted by them or such.

  3. #3
    Pedaling Pescado Bicyclefish's Avatar
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    From what I can find, it was formed in 2011, August-ish.

    Existing thread: <snipped> You could try PMing the OP.

    Only other mention on AW I found was a rejection letter question.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 03-16-2012 at 05:00 AM. Reason: threads merged, thanks!
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    Ah, I didn't see that there was a thread already. One thing that has us concerned is that their so-called "personal" rejection is actually a form letter that hands out generic advice. We've compared R's, and they all pretty much say:
    The story's premise is interesting, but I did note uneven prose.
    Maybe a few other lines thrown in to add variety.

    We're also curious about their pay rates, since they leave it a bit ambiguous on their website.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    I queried them last year and got rejected in less than a week (~4 days). I actually got story specific reason for my rejection. It was fantasy and the editor commented on a specific aspect of my magic system, so at least I know he read it.

    I think recently they've been receiving more submissions, so they might have switched to form rejections.

  6. #6
    Murder isn't so bad...
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    Defcon, I got the exact same rejection. I didn't give it a second thought, though--it's definitely a form R disguised as a personal R.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW Project Deadlight's Avatar
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    I have had three r's from them, the first two were personals with specific plot points mentioned and the last was one of the weird "uneven prose" forms.

    My feeling is they got too popular because of their pay-rates and quick turnaround and have tried to slow submissions by switching to forms and hiding their pay rates. The weird forms started coming after they had a giant gap in their duotrope response times making me think they were scratching around for slush readers.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Project Deadlight View Post
    My feeling is they got too popular because of their pay-rates and quick turnaround and have tried to slow submissions by switching to forms and hiding their pay rates.
    I can understand switching to form due to heavy reading load, but what's odd is that they tell everyone that they have "uneven prose." Some will dismiss it, but for the less secure writers, that can give them the wrong impression.

    A form rejection should say something along the lines of: Thank you for your submission, but unfortunately, the story wasn't for us.

    Nothing about prose or anything else.

    About what they pay, I do believe they should be upfront about it. Because this...
    Pay Rate: Pay ranges from Token payment to Professional payment (5 US cents per word) for fiction.
    ...is really foggy. What is their token payment? How do they decide how much they'll pay for a story? Is it based on length or quality of a story?

  9. #9
    Book lover/Spy Sai's Avatar
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    Yay, I've gotten the 'good story uneven prose' non-personal rejection too. I'm used to form rejections, I can take them, so these pseudo-personal ones rub me the wrong way. And it would be easy to clarify their pay rates, like if it's a simple case of noting that they pay less for reprints or whatever.
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  10. #10
    I've never submitted because I couldn't make out their payrate, and I wouldn't if it was Token.
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  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW Asha Leu's Avatar
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    I emailed them a while back asking for clarification on their pay rates, and received this response:

    The majority of our authors received token payments. However, we do pay up to professional payment to a handful of authors. This is done on a case by case basis. The Washington Pastime plans on paying all semi-pro and pro payment in the future.

    Hope that helps!
    I appreciate their candor, but I can't see why they couldn't make that clear in their actual submission guidelines.

    To be honest, I'm generally pretty wary of anywhere that pays on that sort of "case by case" basis. Just how do they decide who is worthy of pro payment and who isn't?

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW Pemako's Avatar
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    The only time I submitted to them I received a reply that said 'The premise of the piece was interesting, but it did not completely grab me. The prose style has potential, but it needs some fine-tuning' - another one of their form Rs. Yeah, it bothers me, because I was really worrying about the 'needs some fine-tuning' until I figured out that it was just a form R, and I've seen people agonizing about the uneven prose comment, again, not realizing it's just a form. Kind of mean, really, to include a criticism of a story in the rejection which, in fact, has nothing to do with the story.

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW Project Deadlight's Avatar
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    I totally agree with you that the new "personal form" sucks the big'n. I also lost a morning wondering if I should just quit writing until I came on AW and saw about 10 others had got the same rejection. I just think that perhaps they are a market finding their feet.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asha Leu View Post
    I emailed them a while back asking for clarification on their pay rates, and received this response:



    I appreciate their candor, but I can't see why they couldn't make that clear in their actual submission guidelines.

    To be honest, I'm generally pretty wary of anywhere that pays on that sort of "case by case" basis. Just how do they decide who is worthy of pro payment and who isn't?
    Thanks for sharing that, Asha! I agree, even their reply is still foggy. I'd like to know the token payment, because for all we know, it may only be a dollar!

  15. #15
    Pedaling Pescado Bicyclefish's Avatar
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    Regarding what "token payment" is, according to Duotrope (Last Updated: 27 Jan 2012 & Last Checked: 16 Mar 2012):

    Pay ranges from Token payment (under 1 US cent per word) to Professional payment (5 or more US cents per word).
    Though under one cent could be 0.005, 0.001, 0.0000001...
    Last edited by Bicyclefish; 03-16-2012 at 10:29 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Throwing the word "token" around means nothing if there isn't a number behind it.

    Most token paying markets give an exact amount: "We'll pay X for your story."

  17. #17
    Frustrated Pluviophile seaaircarol's Avatar
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    I just received an acceptance & will be paid $2.50.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by seaaircarol View Post
    I just received an acceptance & will be paid $2.50.
    May I ask how long the story is?

  19. #19
    Nerdy Budgie Literateparakeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seaaircarol View Post
    I just received an acceptance & will be paid $2.50.
    Congrats on your acceptance!

    Thanks for the info. $2.50? Man, that is hardly better than no pay. Good to know.

    Still as far as we know, you are the first person on AW to get accepted there, so again, congratulations!

  20. #20
    Gargling blasters
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    I got paid that much for a piece of Twitter fiction. Don't think I'll be submitting to WP.

    (To clarify, apart from that piece of Twit fic all my publications so far have been at non-paying markets, which I'm now refusing to sub to unless there are very good reasons for me to consider them.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Literateparakeet View Post
    Still as far as we know, you are the first person on AW to get accepted there, so again, congratulations!
    Another individual has also received an acceptance from WP. I'm guessing they were also offered $2.50, which is okay for short short pieces, but pitiful for longer stories.

  22. #22
    Frustrated Pluviophile seaaircarol's Avatar
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    Thanks for the congrats, guys. My story is only 1000 words.
    The Princess and the Poison, the first cozy in the Storybook Park Mystery series, is now available at most e-book retailers.

    www.carolayer.com

  23. #23
    Nerdy Budgie Literateparakeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defcon6000 View Post
    Another individual has also received an acceptance from WP.
    Thanks, I missed that.

  24. #24
    You don't have coffee? Go away. WordCount's Avatar
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    It's funny that so many have said they got a "personal rejection, but not really a personal rejection" responses. From them, I got my first real personal rejection. They told me that the beginning was fun and overall the story was enjoyable. They told me the only thing holding said story back was that the ending fell flat on it's face, and didn't deliver.

  25. #25
    Nerdy Budgie Literateparakeet's Avatar
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    Congrats! That is an actual personal rejection. A big step closer to being published, I'd say!

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