The Short Story:
As of yesterday, I am trying to give constructive feedback when I decide to pass on a story submission.
The Long Story:
I was a writer before I was an editor, and I want Plan B to be a magazine that is supportive to writers. This is why I’m endeavouring to make the ‘zine a paying market, it’s why I read the stories before I read the cover letters. I don’t want to pre-judge based on experience or credits.
As I’ve been going through the submissions, I’ve struggled with what to say when I decide that a story isn’t right for Plan B. My first inclination was to include some feedback, but then I thought back to my own experience as a short fiction writer. I’ve had plenty of rejections, most of which were essentially form letters. But I have had a few with feedback. And I’ve mostly found the feedback to be less useful. So I decided not to bother.
Then, I was over on the Save the Short community on Google+. (Aside: Google+ has become an amazing source for writers. Seriously. Go over there and start talking to people). I asked the community what they thought and got a great response. It changed my mind, and now I’m going the extra mile to try and give useful, positive feedback along with the rejections.
Writers: if you got a form rejection from me before yesterday and want feedback, let me know. And feel free to comment here about what you think about this policy.