Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reply With a Little Help From My Friends

Here's a question for those of you who are published writers. And those who are not, please weigh in with your opinion. Oops! Didn't mean to scare you off with that WEIGH IN part.

As you recall, due to me harping on it for two days, I was notified by e-mail on July 4 that Unsent Letters wants to publish one of my sent letters. After a day or two, I replied to the e-mail that, indeed, I would accept their offer.

Here's the question: Was that the right way to respond?

Should I have sent a separate e-mail, perhaps? One with publication offer and the name of my letter in the subject line? Or was the reply to the offer good enough?

The reason I'm asking is twofold. First of all, I'm not a patient person. I'm the Cup-O-Soup, not the slowly-simmered clam chowder. The Easy Mac, not the twice-baked macaroni and cheese. The Buddig turkey lunch meat on Wonder, not the thawed and roasted Thanksgiving bird baked to a delicate brown, sliced and layered on a made-from-scratch croissant.

Even though I know that the business of publication moves slower that a septuagenarian snail across a sea of molasses, I kind of sort of expected I might have heard something back. Even though it took eleven months from my submission to their offer. I don't want my reply to languish in a backlog of e-mail compost, fermenting, until it digests itself.

Secondly, I don't want to violate any unwritten protocols. Like engaging in sexual intercourse with the cleaning woman on the desk in my office, then gifting her with a cashmere sweater with a red dot. Or dropping off muffin stumps to the homeless shelter, thus drawing the ire of Rebecca DeMornay. Or mentioning that I did not get bread with my soup.

Sooo...is that frowned upon? To simply reply to the e-mail offer? Or is that the way it's done?

My inquiring mind wants to know.


  1. Well, in this day and age of short numbered staff, I would say you were correct in your reply method as that helps the harried administrative assistant to track what the heck is going on in her overloaded mail box.

  2. I'm not one of the heavy-hitters when it comes to writing, but I would imagine that if you sent an email reply, thanking them for accepting your letter and telling them you look forward to the publication, that would kill a couple of birds with one stone.

    However, check with Linda. She's the resident authority--that is, if you can catch her between submissions.

    Still Indignant,
    Rebecca DeMornay

  3. Yes, you handled it properly. I usually ask them to indicate that they have received my reply. Some do; some don't. And it is all a waiting game. Today I received an acceptance and a rejection. That's how it goes.

    You can do a follow up and ask when the publication will go to print/be available on line as you are excited and want to promote it. They like that.

    Congratulations. You could grow nose hair waiting, so keep a tweezer nearby.

  4. I've never received an acceptance letter but it seems like you responded correctly, and it would appear that your followers with experience agree.

  5. knancy,
    Thank you for the input. Harried administrative assistants the world over also thank you.

    Sioux/Rebecca DeMornay,
    Duly noted. A reasonable suggestion, not merely the cast-off stump of another's idea.

    That's a scathingly brilliant idea! Since I will be raking in the mid two figures on this paying gig, I shall soon be able to HIRE somebody to tweeze my nose hairs.

    Thank you for weighing in. You're a champion Greco-Roman wrestler in the weigh-in department.

  6. I don't know. Really, I would think replying to their e-mail would make it easy for them to reference who you are and what you are referring to. Like the repeat campers who call me and assume that I know which site they occupied the last time they were here ......

  7. Kathy,
    I suppose those are the ones who think the camping is free and the showers cost money.