"A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. " ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Making the Cut

It seems I might have to upgrade one of our website's more important, if not the most important, component since a newer version seems to have hit the market. Really, I just upgraded the damn thing a few months ago. Technology! What else can I say?

In other news, however, pieces for the e-zine have been finalized although I might not necessarily deliver on my Feb 1 publication date. I will try, undoubtedly, but my work schedule seems to have thrown itself into a bit of a loop...an absurdly hectic one, unfortunately. And I'll confess: I haven't been to the site in days, as in properly gone through the plethora of new pieces that seem to have hit the forums.

I do have something to say, however, and I should take the opportunity of saying it here rather than people finding out later and being all "wha? But-but I thought..."

Remember how I've been mentioning for several entries now, that not all pieces that have been edited will make it into the finalized list? Out of the 20 or so pieces we narrowed down, only 15 of them have made the cut. Three were cut because the writers failed to make the deadline, and three were additionally cut from the edited work I received about a week ago. Do not doubt that I went through each piece with the utmost precision and caution, but the three that I did strike from the list didn't, I feel, represent this issue as appropriately as was necessary. I ask the writers who will be contacted accordingly, to accept this decision and honor it. It isn't personal, I assure you. It's just the business of being an editor, I suppose, and it was especially difficult in the case of one piece I felt had tremendous potential if given enough time. Unfortunately, it had to be cut.

This is the first time I've really exercised my power as being editor of the magazine, primarily because I never felt I had the right, but now it seems, "the board" feels I'm something of "The Editor"...I, more than anyone, know what we're looking for. And it seems this issue has given me somewhat of total control. Again, not something that's particularly pleasing but it does allow me to control the outcome and to focus on that elusive term: quality.

Because a written piece is so very subjective, I ask the writers again to not think they've been rejected for publication, just that it didn't agree with my particular brand of digestion. As it is, you will receive your letters. I think it's only fair, especially after having been contacted by the editors. This is something I feel I should explain: making it to the editing stage doesn't mean you necessarily have made it into the e-zine, it means you've got a chance because often an editor decides to take a particular piece (and writer) under his/her wing arguing that so-and-so can be totally transformed. Whether the end result is indeed all that was asked for, is entirely open to interpretation. My interpretation, unfortunately.

As it is, what's done is done and there's no going back on things now. For those who weren't contacted for the editing stage, and are eager to find out just who did make it in, you'll have to see when Vol 3 hits the presses.

And remember to leave your thoughts here, on what you thought.

Till then, au revoir my little children!

4 comments:

Khaver Mehboob Siddiqi said...

Eek! Oh well, an editor's gotta do, what an editor's gotta do.

M. said...

my little children? lol. i always feel huge standing next to you.

mp213 said...

And yet I have all the power! :) K, I really am sorry about it...it was a tough call.

Khaver Mehboob Siddiqi said...

Its cool, I don't know which pieces were in the competition, but I'm sure the competition was tough. We got some fine writers here.