While I am usually the writer being rejected, I do have occasion to reject some pieces for our community newspaper. I haven’t formally outlined our editorial policy anywhere as I am the editor, layout person, designer, writer and coffee maker. I don’t need to check with anyone else so a written policy seems superfluous.
But there are days when I wish we had one.
A gentleman wrote recently indicating that he would like to write for the Connection on a certain topic, that he had done some work on this topic for television and he thought my readers would love it. I won’t say what it is. It wasn’t sexual or anything but it wasn’t really mainstream and really isn’t a great fit for the paper. I sent the following reply:
“Thanks for your information – it’s not a subject that I am interested in pursuing in our print edition, though I would consider posting it on our digital edition. I’ll leave it up to you.”
This is the reply that I got: “I’ll have to pass, I’ve taken on too many projects right now.”
To that, I simply replied: “Like I said, your choice. Thanks for contacting the Connection.”
What I really wanted to say was: “Listen here! You clearly have an overdeveloped sense of your own importance to think that just because we are a small community newspaper, we would fall over ourselves welcoming your writing in our print publication. Or perhaps the sycophantic lot that surround you, or that crowd your headspace, have been telling you that your brilliance is unparalleled and a publication would be crazy not to publish your work, pay you a fortune and raise a statue in your honour. YOU approached me. YOU clearly had the time and inclination to write when you contacted me. But since I don’t want to PAY to have your stuff published (with a free newspaper, that is essentially the case), you are annoyed with us. ”
I KNOW I am reading too much into his reply. It was just so irksome. So I had to blog. There. Done. Back to work now.