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The Lonely One
12-07-2011, 02:09 AM
So I'm having a bad day.

Got a nice little rejection in the e-mail box today (that isn't the bad part, stay tuned).

Immediately sent the story out to another rather large journal. Then I realized, while reformatting the story to .doc it made half the story a different font and completely screwed up the page number formatting (did I mention how much I hate the standardization of MSWord?).

I sent another email to the editor, apologizing for the formatting mistake and this time sending the story in email-format with the appropriate line-breaks etc.

Just rechecked my initial email to the editor on a niggling hunch, and guess what? I'd copied and pasted my cover letter from another submission and LEFT THE NAME OF THE WRONG JOURNAL IN THE HEADING.

I'm not going to bother this poor woman with another email. I'll just take my with-prejudice rejection and slink away.

How bad can one writer screw up a relationship with a journal, seriously?

Please share some stories and make me feel better :cry:

mirandashell
12-07-2011, 02:11 AM
Seems to me something is trying to tell you not to bother with that place......

Al Stevens
12-07-2011, 02:12 AM
Is your real name Murphy?

The Lonely One
12-07-2011, 02:13 AM
Seems to me something is trying to tell you not to bother with that place......

If I told you the name of the journal you'd be upset in my place, too. :)

kuwisdelu
12-07-2011, 02:14 AM
Did they only take .doc or something?

mscelina
12-07-2011, 02:14 AM
It happens to everyone. I get so many submissions from authors seeking representation it's not even funny. (Didn't change their cover letters to publisher queries)

But, anyone in the business knows how easy it is for that to happen. If someone is an asshat to you b/c of an honest mistake, then you probably don't want to be working with them anyway.

mirandashell
12-07-2011, 02:16 AM
Maybe you should wait and see if she contacts you. You never know.....

The Lonely One
12-07-2011, 02:16 AM
Is your real name Murphy?

That isn't helping ;)


Did they only take .doc or something?

They didn't specify which format but .wpd isn't very widely accepted from what I've seen. I think I'll go .rtf from now on, it seems to cause less of a headache.


It happens to everyone. I get so many submissions from authors seeking representation it's not even funny. (Didn't change their cover letters to publisher queries)

But, anyone in the business knows how easy it is for that to happen. If someone is an asshat to you b/c of an honest mistake, then you probably don't want to be working with them anyway.

Thank you. Makes me feel a little better, though I still feel kind of like someone should bonk me on the head sometimes.

LindaJeanne
12-07-2011, 02:21 AM
From the headline, I thought this was going to be a link to a story about an oh-no-you-didn't public over-the-line temper-tantrum.

I hardly think a simple mistake like this is going to get you permanently blacklisted :).

MacAllister
12-07-2011, 02:28 AM
It happens, The Lonely One, and while of course it's better to slow down and take a bit more care in the future, I promise you that the editor in question didn't write your name down and put it on her dartboard, so she could laugh and point at it every time someone comes into her office.

She may, of course, tell the story over cocktails, in terms of "here's one of the goofy things writers sometimes do" -- but she's not emailing everyone in her address book to tell 'em that you're a doofus and your submissions should from now on be deleted unread.

Chances are excellent, in fact, that when you next submit to that journal, if you get it right, no one's even going to remember that one time that you screwed it up.

James D. Macdonald
12-07-2011, 02:41 AM
I'd copied and pasted my cover letter from another submission and LEFT THE NAME OF THE WRONG JOURNAL IN THE HEADING.

This happens all the time. You aren't the first and won't be the last.

The Lonely One
12-07-2011, 02:47 AM
Wow I got Mac and Uncle Jim both to comment on my screw-up thread. I'm honored! :)

Thanks everyone for all the pep talks. I'm definitely going to go over these things with a blacklight before sending in the future.

Ryan David Jahn
12-07-2011, 03:17 AM
It happens.

About seven years ago a director and I went into a meeting as a team to talk with an actor about an idea he had for a film. He gave us a treatment. The idea was poorly developed, and the character the actor had written for himself was ridiculous in his perfection, but there was enough there that I thought I could pull a script out of it. I rewrote the treatment from scratch, stupidly including a parenthetical comment that went something like

(I've kept JOE as perfect as I can stomach since it's ______'s project, and he clearly doesn't want to play someone with so much as a single fucking flaw)

and sent it off to my director friend. He liked the treatment, and, without deleting the parenthetical phrase, forwarded it on to the actor.

Anyway, didn't get that job.

mirandashell
12-07-2011, 03:24 AM
Ouch!

IceCreamEmpress
12-07-2011, 05:16 AM
Nobody there will remember that you messed up your last submission when you send your next submission, I promise. Tech glitches are super common.

What people do remember is when people act like jerks, not when they make mistakes.

Scriptissima
12-07-2011, 06:17 AM
So I'm having a bad day.

Got a nice little rejection in the e-mail box today (that isn't the bad part, stay tuned).

Immediately sent the story out to another rather large journal. Then I realized, while reformatting the story to .doc it made half the story a different font and completely screwed up the page number formatting (did I mention how much I hate the standardization of MSWord?).

I sent another email to the editor, apologizing for the formatting mistake and this time sending the story in email-format with the appropriate line-breaks etc.

Just rechecked my initial email to the editor on a niggling hunch, and guess what? I'd copied and pasted my cover letter from another submission and LEFT THE NAME OF THE WRONG JOURNAL IN THE HEADING.

I'm not going to bother this poor woman with another email. I'll just take my with-prejudice rejection and slink away.

How bad can one writer screw up a relationship with a journal, seriously?

Please share some stories and make me feel better :cry:
Actually, I did something very similar once. Queried two travel magazines, competitors, of course, and managed to send the email meant to go out to magazine A to the editor of magazine B.

The editor of magazine B replied more or less immediately, letting me know that, hey, butthead, we are magazine B and not magazine A, how stupid of you, but thanks for emailing anyway. Oh boy. So I DID send her another email, also immediately, wrote something along the lines of "Hahaha, I just discussed 'most embarrassing moments ever' with a bunch of other freelancers, and I think this could easily top the list. So if you're not completely offended by my most embarrassing moment ever, I would love to send you the email with those other queries that were actually meant for you and your magazine. Pretty please?"

To my surprise, she said "ok," I send a new query letter, and she actually gave me an assignment.

Sooo - you've got nothing to lose. By now, the editor probably thinks you're one nut short of a muesli - so make that work to your advantage. You can't make it worse anyway. Go in there, send a creative, yet sweet email to explain yourself and THEN start expecting to never hear back. And, who knows, maybe you will. It's not about the mistakes we make. It's about how we deal with those mistakes. And if you're showing some humble greatness and creativity now, you might just enter this editor's awareness.

The Lonely One
12-07-2011, 07:27 AM
That's quite a story! Glad to hear it worked out in the end.

My main concern with sending a THIRD email would be that I'd now be bordering annoying. When a lot of mags state on their guidelines "don't email us even to say thanks, it fills up our inbox," I think having a conversation with myself on their e-mail account seems rather insane/digging a deeper hole :)

I haven't heard back yet from her, so with their long response time it's unlikely anyone has even seen what I've written or will for months.

When they say yes/no I think I might reply with a "by the way, sorry." I can be diplomatic and turn it into something funny and brief, but I also would rather just leave it be until they initiate conversation, if that makes sense.

jjdebenedictis
12-07-2011, 09:02 AM
My main concern with sending a THIRD email would be that I'd now be bordering annoying.Yeah, give 'em a few months to forget it ever happened.

Kitty27
12-07-2011, 06:15 PM
I came in here,expecting some good tea to be spilled,lol.

It happens to everyone. I once sent a query to an agent with the sweet greeting of "Dear Agent,Whose Soul Shall Be Mine". I expect they don't want any more queries from me.

Until you can top that,you are okay!

NeuroFizz
12-07-2011, 07:26 PM
Welcome to the club, TLO. I think I'm an honorary elder. Just send them your next (better) story.

Phaeal
12-07-2011, 07:51 PM
Unless you included some juicy personal insults in your material, she'll have forgotten your name before she gets through her email. No reason not to sub to this journal again, correctly. ;)

Brukaviador
12-07-2011, 09:41 PM
Been there, done that. More than once, actually... It generally happens to me from an overzealous use of the copy and paste functions.

Tweak form query for Magazine A.
Ctrl-A to select all, Ctrl-C to copy.
Move to e-mail, Ctrl-V to paste.
Send e-mail to Magazine A.
Tweak form query again.
Ctrl-A to select all, don't press Ctrl-C hard enough for it to pick up the new selected text.
Move to e-mail, Ctrl-V, pasting in duplicate of form letter designed for Magazine A that was still on the clipboard.
Send e-mail to Magazine B
Took me a couple times to learn, but I'm very careful to triple check the names before hitting the send button.

The Lonely One
12-07-2011, 10:19 PM
Thanks everyone. Submitting something at 3am probably doesn't help the process of double-checking details either, eh?

Thanks for sharing more horror stories :)

Nugus
12-07-2011, 10:26 PM
You made me laugh. Never mind. Worse things happen at sea, so they say.

shaldna
12-08-2011, 02:24 PM
How bad can one writer screw up a relationship with a journal, seriously?




I once accidently sent a query with the subject line 'where were you this morning asswipe?'

TIP: Don't email friends while emailing queries. it's easy to get confused

seun
12-08-2011, 02:54 PM
It happens to everyone. I get so many submissions from authors seeking representation it's not even funny. (Didn't change their cover letters to publisher queries)


That reminds me. I have a book what I would like you to represent for me. I will bring it to your home address promptly at eight am in the morning tomorrow morning where we can conversate about my book and how grate I am.

ladyleeona
12-08-2011, 09:02 PM
I came in here,expecting some good tea to be spilled,lol.

It happens to everyone. I once sent a query to an agent with the sweet greeting of "Dear Agent,Whose Soul Shall Be Mine". I expect they don't want any more queries from me.

Until you can top that,you are okay!

Bahahahahhahaha. Agents have souls? (kidding--obviously the one you queried did, hence the fear.:)) That's awesome.

I'm starting querying next year, so this thread is making me nervous, LOL. I'm going to work really hard to not screw things up but, with me involved, it's pretty inevitable I'm afraid.

I foresee much agonizing over emails before clicking 'send'. At first, anyway. :)

EthanJones
12-08-2011, 09:12 PM
Perhaps you want to try to send that woman another e-mail - people understand that mistakes happen and if she liked your story, she'll appreciate your humble approach.

Thanks,

Ethan

bettielee
12-10-2011, 07:40 AM
I saw a tweet from an agent who talked about opening Snail Mail queries... even though she DOESN'T TAKE THEM. Allegedly. I told her to stop opening them!!

Tee hee. Yeah. Not helping in your situation, I know, but clearly, messing up on the submission happens. You will survive. And they probably get so many, they won't remember your mess up should you submit to them again.

SPMiller
12-10-2011, 07:52 AM
I once accidently sent a query with the subject line 'where were you this morning asswipe?'

TIP: Don't email friends while emailing queries. it's easy to get confusedI did something similar while working phones during university. A coworker was relentlessly pestering me while I was leaving a voice-mail message. When I finished the message, I strung together a rather impressive litany of profanity directed at my coworker.

Then I noticed I hadn't hung up on the call...

The Lonely One
12-10-2011, 10:47 AM
I think I just got a record-fast rejection for their market. I wonder what encouraged them ;)

I replied with an apology and will let that be that. This has certainly taught me to be careful.

Becky Black
12-10-2011, 06:30 PM
I once accidently sent a query with the subject line 'where were you this morning asswipe?'

TIP: Don't email friends while emailing queries. it's easy to get confused

I shouldn't laugh, but... I can't help it! :ROFL: Now karma will bite me and I'll do something similar and won't be laughing at all.

One tip I've learned - usually when creating an email the first thing you put in the recipient, right? So how many emails end up being sent half done, or with no attachment, or no spell check, etc due to either premature clickage, or cat-walking-across-keyboard-itis? (I don't have a cat, but I'm willing to pretend I have one to use as an excuse.)

Now with important emails I leave the recipient till last, so whatever happens, that mail is going nowhere until I'm sure it's ready. Get everything else in there, triple check it, spell check it, double check the right attachments are, well, attached. Then put in the recipient. (Hopefully of course the right one, so you don't accidentally send your frail old granny the red hot erotic short you intended for your publisher...:eek:)