2. Having Your writer's Back
Today in class when we were talking about sending work out—something I always do in the last workshop—a student asked where I stood on following up on a submission to a magazine or journal.
I was a little stunned, because while my regular spiel includes a reminder to keep track of where and when you send essays (Submittable makes this super-easy now) and to follow up, I’d never been asked—before I’d even gotten it—about the advisability of doing so. The way she worded the question implied there might be times when it wasn’t a good idea to check on the status of writing you’ve shed blood for and taken the leap of faith to see into a world of strangers.
So yes, if you haven’t gotten a reply after the publication’s stated response time (assuming such exists), you should without question or apology follow up. Things get lost in transit all the time. They get buried in in-boxes, physical and electronic. Editorial processes are slow and complicated in ways outsiders can’t imagine.
But here’s what surprised me: I then heard coming out of my mouth words I’d never heard myself speak before. I said, “Just like your kids or your partner, you should have your writing’s back.
It deserves it.