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A Swift Response

You know how it goes. You submit a piece of work, and the you wait. And wait. And then, just after you'd forgotten all about it, a The editor regrets . . . email pops into your inbox.

I took the plunge and submitted an 800-word article to the Memory Lane section of The Oldie, having read a few similar articles and decided that I could do as good a job. One piece was quite poorly written and without much point, which surprised me for such an esteemed publication. Anyway, I sent the thing off at precisely 15.07, and I got a reply email, thanks so much but not quite right for us. The time of the rejection mail? 15.07. Perhaps the title put him off :D


  • edited December 2020
  • They do make swift decisions. You are not alone!
  • I guessed it was automated - but I've never had an automated rejection before.

  • edited December 2020
    Genuine rejections are bad enough; automated ones are downright cruel. 
  • It may be that they are 'full' for that slot at the moment so they didn't even read it. I'd go with that :)
  • Sadly, I suspect it's more like they commission from writers they know.

  • I think this slot asks for submissions from readers.
    Just checked and there is a £50 award for published pieces but it says, "Readers are invited to send in 400-word submissions."  
    I think it used to be 800words but there have been quite a few changes. 
  • Keep trying. 
  • A case of should have read the small print! Can you cut it?
  • edited December 2020
  • edited December 2020
  • I had a 105,000-word novel rejected less than half an hour after submitting it.
  • Some interesting comments - thanks. I submitted my piece after reading this on their submission guidelines page:

    We are happy to consider unsolicited articles on any subject. Articles shouldbe between 600 and 1,300 words in length.

    The guidelines end, rather curiously:

    The Oldie is one of the very few magazines in the country who believe in dedicating time and effort from our limited resources to reading all unsolicited pieces, so please do your bit –pay attention to these guidelines and make sure you're familiar withthe magazine. We only read unsolicited pieces one day a week, so replies can take a month or so.

    Or a few seconds :D

    I guess they maybe are 'full up' right now, but surely it wouldn't be too much trouble to set up a 'not currently accepting' auto reply, rather than one that implies it was rejected because the material was unsuitable.

    In the meantime, the piece has been consigned to my documents folder, where dozens of other articles, stories and short plays sit, unsubmitted and unloved after rejection. I'm now engaged in another project that has a deadline, so there's plenty to keeep me busy. Onward and upward :)

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