Late 2017, a minor stir broke out on Twitter when a man responded to a literary magazine's call for flash fiction. The man, instead of asking for clarification of a guideline, said (I'm paraphrasing): "I've submitted to you three times, and you've rejected me every time. The pieces were all taken by other journals. Good luck finding better writers than me."
Now, everyone has moments where they think, "Ha! Take that, you rejecter of immense talent!" But... few people say it. Because it's not professional. Because it's quite petty and a little snide. Because it's not what a good "Literary Citizen" does.
His egotistical Tweet fluttered around timelines, mostly as a cautionary tale. At least one well-known author commented on it, and Bighead got kind of nasty (then deleted some of his most derogatory remarks). He was all-in. When I was alerted to the scuffle while scrolling, I immediately went to Bighead's profile.
Make that editor Bighead. He edits one of the oldest literary magazines specializing in his genre... and he was acting like some entitled, snot-nosed brat who just received his MFA from BetterThan U. It shocked me.
Editors know how the selection process goes, how subjective this business is. Bighead, too, must reject stories that are perfect for someone else. So... why?
Was he having a horrible day? Is he secure enough in his career that burning bridges provide warmth? Does he think he's God's gift in under 1,000 words?
I don't think his little outburst will alter his writing career in a negative way. But, I know for sure I'll never submit work to him (not like he'd care). I'd rather work with someone who has a bigger heart.
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