19 August 2009

The Pope Has His Days.

Recently, Ex Cathedra was somehow linked to a scandal of sorts... Okay, that may be a bit melodramatic. But it certainly was involved in what appears, at the very least, to be a minuscule controversy (read: argument) with one angry writer. It would be appropriate to consider this writer the nasty, unwanted writer.

Here's the word on the street... Apparently, there was a writer who submitted a literary piece that required some (rather extensive) editing. Its theme, however, was very controversial and interesting, and it seemed to have potential. Because Ex Cathedra admires risk-taking emerging writers, the literary piece caught the interest of the Editors. Trying to suffocate all doubts, perhaps, they thought that something could be made of this roughly written piece. It seemed like a diamond in the rough initially, but eventually it turned out to be a piece of recycled plastic.

However, the Editors decided to give the work a chance if, upon the author's approval, they would be able to work with the author to improve it. For the record, the Editors of Ex Cathedra never edit any part of any literary submission whatsoever, without the explicit approval and cooperation of the respective author.

Thus, a form letter was sent to the writer. Upon receiving the letter, the author somehow managed to lose track of which literary piece had been submitted, and therefore became unnecessarily angered. What happened next was probably a reflex or impulse, taken out online, under a rush of rage.

The writer demanded that a representative from Ex Cathedra immediately respond to his e-mail inquiring the title of the literary piece that had been submitted... (Remember, Ex Cathedra does not accept previously published work or multiple submissions, and hopes that all submitting writers know exactly which literary pieces they are submitting.)

It appeared that the author wasn't very organized, and was somewhat disinterested and compulsively angered by any form of communication. The Editors' initial doubts returned. This time, they could not be suppressed. Is this the author they actually considered publishing in their Library of Congress-approved publication? Certainly not. Slowly, turmoil was beginning to unfold.

Then, just one week after the first angry e-mail, two more e-mails had accumulated. The Editors had just completed reviewing a hefty batch of submissions and returned to respond to replies from writers... After replying to about five e-mails (in the order that they were received), they stumbled upon a threat. The nasty writer had returned, and demanded an answer or else. The e-mail demanded an immediate response or the literary piece would be withdrawn from a contract that had never existed. In its original form, the submission was horrifying and embarrassing. Since there had been no response to the agreement to work together to edit the work, its quality was unworthy of publication in Ex Cathedra Literary Magazine. Additionally, because a rather inappropriate threat was delivered, the Board of Editors, along with several beneficiaries of the magazine, decided that the work would not appear in Ex Cathedra. It would reward bad behavior and compromise the quality of the publication.

What followed was a series of e-mails from the outraged writer. After the literary piece had failed to meet the essential requirements for publication in Ex Cathedra, the author demanded that it be withdrawn from publication. Such a demand could not be honored due to the fact that the piece, in its original state, was never accepted, nor was it on par with the magazine's intrinsic motive of publishing only fine works of literature from emerging and established authors.

All in all, Ex Cathedra loves writers. It exists for writers. It exists because writers exist. It exists to give new writers the chance to voice their passions and thoughts and ideas, and to publish their masterpieces alongside some of the most renowned established writers. Ex Cathedra exists to spark discussion, conversation, debate. It thrives off of these forms of interaction.

So, the Pope's Lesson of the Month is, basically, that Ex Cathedra does not accept threats. Nor does it honor hate and rage.

On a much happier note, here are some funny quotes from the nasty writer's e-mails, and some comments and thoughts below each quotation.

"Can you tell me which story I sent you, I can't find the original e-mail."

No question mark at the end of the sentence... Similar errors found in the writer's literary work.

"...the information you asked for."

Ending in a preposition... Tsk, tsk. Another common error also found in the literary work. Important: Please do not compromise professionalism, ever. It looks really good to have a sense of basic grammatical rules.

"Should you continue to not reply, my next e-mail will be of the nature."

Okay, don't forget this is after just two days of the writer not receiving a response. Furthermore, everyone is confused about the nature thing. Symbolism? Or just all-around mess?


The Editors