Heaven is not wired for DSL I guess

Dear Great Snarkish One,

I recently submitted a story to a literary magazine, the readership for which is very specific and exactly the one for which my story was written. The fiction editor e-mailed me back saying that she liked the work and that although she couldn't reasonably ask me to hold it for her, if I'd be willing to do so anyway she'd have a chance to talk to her managing editor and see if they had room for it in their upcoming edition. She said she'd get back to me in a couple of weeks.

After a few weeks passed, I looked her up to find her e-mail address and thank her for her consideration and withdraw my story from consideration. You know, standard SOP. My Google search pulled up news articles revealing that she had died three days after talking to me. Trouble is, I have no idea whether she passed the story on before she--um, passed on. Given the tragedy that her agency is going through, is the standard professional conduct of the "Thanks for your consideration" letter still appropriate, or would it be more respectful to silently move on? Or, since the story audience is so specific to this magazine's readership, should I file it for a year and re-submit it to them later?

Thanks oh Snarker.

Your faithful Not-quite-a-Snarkling-but-still-amused-and-enlightened-by-your-blog-reader

Oh yikes.
You write to the managing editor. You offer condolences. You don't do anything more for a bit. This isn't time sensitive OTHER than you want to get a move on with stuff.

Chances are with an unexpected staff vacancy they are not moving at full speed ahead either. If they have seen your story, this will jog their memory. If they haven't, you don't look callous.

Give them some time, then write again and explain you in the middle of things when Ms Editor passed away. They'll figure out what you mean.

Meanwhile, you write other things and query other places.


M. Takhallus. said...

Had this same thing happen except it was an editor and we found out by way of her obit in the NY Times.

Oh, thaaaat's why she's taking so long getting back with her notes.

Anonymous said...

Is the book a paranormal by any chance? If so, I would just wait until you hear from her...

December Quinn said...

You were writing to withdraw without even a follow-up?

Anonymous said...

Chances are they will have a number of items up in the air in exactly the same way as yours.

Give 'em time to get their legs under themselves--what Miss Snark said. By the time that happens they will have a routine for dealing with those in your situation.

Kate Pearce said...

Ooh-I had this happen with the first agent I signed with. He died the day after he sent me the agency contract and I didn't find out for quite a while until his wife contacted me. Put me off querying for weeks.

Diana Peterfreund said...

I looked her up to find her e-mail address and thank her for her consideration and withdraw my story from consideration. You know, standard SOP.

Wait, why were you withdrawing the story from consideration? As punishment? This mystifies me. Bookends Literary Agency recently posted about how it mystifies them, too.

Pennyoz said...

I think the phenomena is called Manuscript Rage. It's listed in the same section as the one you have if you drive a car. One is better than the other. One has a horn.