The following letter is self explanatory. It displays my frustration after submitting my poem, Vaporizer, to several publishers simultaneously. The letter was sent in the early 90’s.
Ms. Shirley Winston
BEYOND Science Fiction & Fantasy
P.O. Box 136
New York, NY 10024
Dear Ms. Winston:
I recently submitted a poem to your office. The poem is entitled “Vaporizer.” I received a rejection notice with your signature, with the phrase “SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS WILL BE RETURNED WITHOUT BEING READ” checked in red ink. My submission to you was, I admit, a simultaneous one. You did not, however, return it. The only thing I found in the self-addressed, stamped envelope was the rejection slip. If you did not read the poem because it was a simultaneous submission, that excuse no longer applies. I have received responses from the three other magazines to which I submitted. One is going out of print, one does not publish poetry, and the other has a length limit on poetry which I exceeded by about one hundred sixty-two lines. The poem, if still in your possession, is no longer simultaneous. So, if you can find it, go ahead and read it. If you don’t want it, you have my permission to destroy it. I would still like to know, though, if you meant to return it and just forgot to put it in the envelope, or if you really did read it, liked it and decided to keep it, hoping I wouldn’t notice that it was not in the envelope. Drop me a card sometime and let me know.
Bruce L. Weaver