I’m never quite sure about how to treat editors. I treat them politely, but it’s difficult knowing exactly how to do that. I was brought up not to use first names until I knew someone, but the simple use of Mr or Mrs or Miss or any other simple title is now a politically charged minefield with the capacity for causing great offence, so I try to avoid it.
Talking of that, did you know that the Post office had a set of stamps in 2002 that included a rabbit and the words “a new baby”. I have nightmares about using them on a parcel that goes to someone who, for one reason or another, finds it upsetting. It’s a great stamp for someone who just had a healthy baby but there are are a number of circumstances where it could cause offence.
Anyway, back to editors. Apart from the problem of how to address them, there is the problem of how to reply after they have either accepted or rejected something. I’ve seen mixed advice on this, including several opinions that editors have enough to do without extra emails.
I took that advice to start with, as I don’t want to cause extra work, but after a while it began to seem rude.
Several editors, including one who turned me down this week, go out of their way to tell you that they can’t, or won’t, offer help or advice on your work. Others do offer some comment, which is always a happy extra. I’m happy that they don’t comment (as it isn’t their purpose). I’m not so happy with the ones who make a big thing out of not commenting, as it seems slightly aggressive and negative. Which leaves us with the ones that do comment – it seems rude not to thank them. so I now do that. In general, the most helpful comments seem to come from people who are turning my work down.
That just leaves the question of whether writing anything but a submission looks like an attempt to suck up to an editor. I don’t have a clue about that one, and would be interested to hear from any editors or ex-editors out there who have a view.
I’ll stop there as I am planning a drive North and a pub lunch. They were things that I used to do without thinking eighteen months ago. Now, I’ve had to book, which means I need plans and timings, and I have had to read the website. We can now have a party of any size we like, don’t need to wear masks and don’t need to use track and trace. I have looked at the menu on line and see that they do vegan Fishless Fish and Chips with Crispy Quorn fish style fillets.
Why oh why oh why, as I so often find myself asking, do the producers of vegan food have to align it with meat? Why not just advertise battered slabs of tasteless crap served with chips and peas. Vegans are hardy souls, I’m sure they could take it on the chin with a description of what they are about to be given. Mentioning fish three times in a vegan menu description doesn’t make the Quorn sound better, it just makes me think of succulent flakes of fresh fish in crisp golden batter.
Just back from Scotland and I decided not to eat meat while I was there. This isn’t for any animal protection, I just like to eat things I don’t have at home and I’m not a great meat lover and I don’t want to be in a box😂 I had a Vegan breakfast, they do bacon which looks like bacon and tastes like bacon. The same with black pudding and square sausage, but they’re all so dry. I decided to go with traditional English breakfast and no bacon or sausage, was lovely. Anyway back to editors, I have all that to come. Next week is going to be searching for agents and the submitting my book 😱😱😱 Love reading your posts 😊
Good luck with the search for agents.
I had a quorn-type burger whe we went out to lunch on Sunday, out of a spirit of adventure. It was OK, though I’d actually been expecting something with identifiable vegetable antecedents.
One’s time in life and culture have great bearing on proper addressing. I just do the best I can.
Yes, that’s a good benchmark. 🙂
I try to avoid writing to anyone so that saves me from worrying about how to address them.
🙂 That is part of my dilemma – being sociable is not natural for me.
Back in the ’70s I made my staff stop automatically using Ms in missives to elderly clients. I agree with you about vegan menus.
😉 Yes, easy to forget that it isn’t all one way with the titles. The vegan menu had been shortened when we arrived – I didn’t even get to see the non-fish fillet.
I would use the last name with either Mr. or Ms. I think few people take offence with “Ms.” anymore. And for the few that do…the heck with them.
Fair enough, though I still worry about it, what with gender fluidity and the like . . , 🙂
Yes, there is that. Perhaps use both the first and last name? As in, dear John Smith. Does that sound too stiff?
I always think there’s something about it that isn’t quite right. think it sounds like those marketing letters the Reader’s Digest used to send out. 🙂
Yup. What to do, what to do?
Just be pleasant and polite and smile while I type.