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IMHO

AUGUST 21, 2010

So Eldridge Publishing rejected my play IN HERMAN'S GARAGE and they sent me a form e-mail rejection letter.

Now no professional ever answers a rejection letter but they had asked for a DVD of the play being performed if you had one and I'd sent them one with an SASE because I wanted the DVD back. So I wrote them and thanked them for their time and reminded them of the SASE and the DVD.

By the way I had to pay $15.00 for that DVD which is why I wanted it back.

It takes them two days to answer my Email and when they do they say they only read the note on the bottom of my cover letter and they recycled my manuscript and didn't know about the DVD.

Which means they never even cracked the play. They probably only checked the cover letter for my e-mail address so that they could send me the form rejection letter in an e-mail because you see the SASE and the DVD were in the middle of the package.

I didn't get really nasty but told them I thought that was pretty shabby.

Here's the thing. If a publishing house isn't reading for anything then they shouldn’t be open for submissions. If you are reading then you should be READING. If they had read even my cover letter they would have known about the DVD and would have found the SASE.

In the fifteen years I have been running YDP never have I not read something when we were reading and I have never failed to return a manuscript when an SASE was provided. Hell when I'm not reading for anything and it clearly says I'm not I still answer query letters. I still answer people who send me unsolicited manuscripts and if there is an SASE I write them a quick note and send their manuscript back to them. And remember that's when I'm NOT reading for anything.

Don't blow my work off and pretend that you read it and didn't like it and send me a form rejection letter when you didn't even read my whole cover letter—much less my work—or even open the package enough to see the real contents for God’s sake! The DVD was in a case. The only way it could have been missed is if they just opened the envelope, pulled out the cover letter, got my Email address off it and then put it right into what I presume is an industrial shredder if it can eat not just a DVD but its cover.

A novice shouldn't be treated like this by a so-called publishing house, but I'm not a novice; I'm an internationally-published writer and that play premiered to a sold-out house all three nights. The cast loved doing it; the audiences loved watching it. It's a damn good play but those fuckers didn't even look at it.

Here's the thing if the editors really read it and watched the DVD and didn't like it then that's fine. I'm a professional writer; I'm used to rejection. Everyone has different taste. Who understands why good stuff gets rejected and crap becomes the freaking Twilight Saga? You don't like my work that's your opinion and you're entitled to your opinion. But do not send me a form rejection letter that says you don't like my work and make me feel like crap when you didn't even give the play a fucking peek. When you didn't read any part of it. When you couldn't even do me the courtesy of opening my submission package far enough to see the SASE and the DVD.

In this world we're supposed to get as good as we give. At least that's what we're told. But in my fifteen years as an editor I've never done this to anyone. I've never been open to submissions but dismissed a piece without reading at least three pages. I never, ever kept anything of the writer’s whether I'm reading or not when they included a SASE. Hell, I've gone so far as to e-mail people who didn't include a SASE—who submitted when I WASN’T reading and had sent me the wrong genre—to tell them I wasn't reading for anything and when I was this was not what we took.

Damn it! I have paid my dues, more than my fare share of dues in this fucked-up business, and I think I deserve a certain amount of respect. At the very least I deserve the respect anyone who takes the time to put ink to paper and submit it should get.

It's not smart, and it certainly isn't right to dismiss writers without even looking at their work. But if you're going to do it because you're just covered up with manuscripts and don't need any more, the least you can do is not let us find out you didn't read our work. All they had to do was take my stuff from that envelope, put it in the SASE and then go ahead and send me the damn form Email rejection letter. At least then I wouldn't have lost a $15.00 DVD to their paper shredder. I'd be sad, feel rejected for a couple of days, decide all their taste is in their mouth and send it to someone else. I wouldn't feel disrespected and just highly pissed off.

And… I wouldn't be writing about how unprofessional Eldridge Publishing is on my very popular bitch of the day page.

Selina

If you enjoy these bitches, please contact Selina directly at selinarosen@cox.net. Thanks!

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