Friday, July 22, 2011

If you think that I am smart

Ever think I'm a really smart guy, as in me, Matt Rowan, is a really smart guy? Worry no more! Here's a perfect example of how I am not, and how actually I'm a moron just like the rest of us.

Dear MATT,

Thank you for your submission of "Surveil " to SmokeLong Quarterly. We gave the story careful consideration, and though we are not accepting it for publication, we hope you find a better fit for it elsewhere.

Thanks again for trusting us with your work.

SmokeLong Quarterly



You can change the setting on your submishmash account so a submitter's first name isn't all caps in your automatic replies. It'll preserve a modicum of your giving the story an honest read. I know this is a bit snarky in tone. I just find that to be one of the more irritating aspects of these rejections, and an easily correctable one. I hope my next rejection by your publication comes with my name in the standard capitalization.

-MATT Rowan


That's actually the way you spelled your name when you submitted the story, not an automatic setting on Submishmash. So if you submit your story to us with your name spelled the way you prefer, then it will appear that way on any correspondence we send you.


Editors, SmokeLong Quarterly


HAHAHAHA, sigh, well I sent a very contrite email, acknowledging my mistake (and it was my mistake). Somehow when my account was set up, the default profile name was in all caps (either I did this or it's automatic). If you have a submishmash account you can alter your rejections email name (or acceptances) under your personal settings. All you have to do is investigate them, rather than jump to a conclusion of error on the part of an external source.

Or maybe I'm the only one who's had trouble with that, too.

P.S. SmokeLong is a good publication that's fun, so go read it and have fun. They put up with me and my snark, so there's something.


  1. Rejection is always a bitch to deal with. No matter how mature you try to be, it's a fucking bitch to read a pre-written stationery, telling you that you suck.

    It's worse when you talk to an actual agent though. Keep on truckin' my man. Keep us updated when you get some things out. Wanna read it.

  2. Oh yes, which is why I try to respond with actual thoughts whenever I reject anything for Untoward. If nothing else, I insist the rejections I offer be personalized.

    Nevertheless, I trudge ever onward, submitting and being rejected, which I recommend to anyone.

    If you're curious to see some of my publications, Ben, I got a few links on the sidebar of this here site, with more to come I Know IT!

  3. Well, I for one am glad you're not brilliant. Love the snarky tone, too. Very funny. Easily correctible! Good stuff. Cheers, Kevin

  4. Haha...I'm curious to see if you'll ever get a story in SmokeLong after that exchange or if they'll blackball you. Somehow I got one in there when I was 17. I've been trying and failing to repeat ever since, so either they've gotten more popular or my talent abandoned me when I graduated high school.

  5. @Kevin: Indeed, sir, indeed. Typically I try to be much more magnanimous. I was in a bad mood that day. So snark it was!

    @Ellen: Wow, Ellen, regardless of circumstances, publication by SmokeLong is no small thing, even if they've grown in prestige since. Anyway, I can't speak for SmokeLong but feel free to submit to Untoward if you like. You'll find a link at the top of the page.