There are plenty of writing contests,
but only Write Side Out has the
courage to create a contest on the one
topic every writer really wants
to write about....Editors Are
WRITE SIDE OUT announces the winners in our "Editors Are
Evil" Writing Contest
Writers love to moan and groan
about editors, and for good reason. Editors reject us. They
disrespect us. They vivisect our work, ripping it apart and
sucking out its creative juice. Being abused by evil editors is
part of every writer's life, so when Write Side Out offered you the opportunity
to vent, you took up the task with enthusiasm!
Who would have guessed that
ranting could be such wicked fun? We rolled on the floor and howled at the moon
as we read more than one hundred wildly creative entries ranging from poems and
prose to ransom notes. It was no easy task to choose just three but our judges,
all battle-hardened freelancers, eventually came to a
The following writers have each received a custom-printed T-shirt or tote bag with the prEditor design on one
side and their winning entry on the other. ONLY winners of the "Evil
Editor" contest can wear the design shown here, so if you see one around,
congratulate them. They've beaten the Evil Editors!
The winners, in alphabetic order, are:
Charlotte Bennardo for her entry "Dear Editor, I have
I have your cat.
What, no contract?
To Chow Yung Fat,
I take your cat.
Oh, change your mind?
Your cat you'll find
Once contract signed,
and deal we bind.
Refuse to deal?
A tasty meal
Cat's fate you'll seal
I swear, for real.
Don't want too much,
just fame and such,
fat check to clutch,
then lunch, NO 'DUTCH!'
Ignore this note
and cat I'll smote
fur on my coat,
and then I'll gloat.
What can you do?
Choose- cat or you.
My book debut.
"This is so much fun to read, and I love the
fact that the writer wins at the end!"
"I really enjoy the wit, the spare language and
the sense that the writer triumphs. I want to read that debut book!"
"A clever, snappy little poem. Two thumbs up!"
Comments from the writer: Charlotte Bennardo
What's more thrilling than having peers
recognize my exceptional talent? (Notwithstanding a fat advance and a contract.)
I was more than inspired by the form rejections (we're talking triple
digits)nasty notes (was it necessary?), stolen stamps off SASEs never used
(enough for a year's worth of car payments), manuscripts returned unlooked at
(not a wrinkle- do I look stupid?), no-talent celeb authors (DON'T get me
started!), and years off my life when I could have been doing something FUN
(annual female check-ups come to mind).
Some editors have gone boldly where most fear to tread by responding to queries
and publishing my work. I vow to keep schmoozing and smiling and submitting.
(And plotting.) To my fellow winners, congrats, I KNOW you deserve it. To others
equally as talented but having bad karma, like my best friend Natalie, I console
you with the thought that the next editor may inspire you to win next year.
I will, of course, be available to autograph any t-shirts or totes, provided I
don't have to use my own stamps.
Kenneth Pobo for his entry "Out Of My Cornflakes."
OUT OF MY CORNFLAKES
pops an editor who claimed
“We always respond to writers
in three months.” I never
heard from him. Standing in
a rowboat on a milky river,
he says, “Ha sucker! You
know what I did with your poem?
I wrapped chicken bones in it,
fed it to the trash. Consider
yourself rejected!” He broke
into a laughter of a thousand
mosquitoes by my ear. I
dropped my spoon in the bowl, fished him out, ate him,
but he got revenge. My belly
wept for days. I got awful
constipation. He tied my guts
into party balloons, invited
several other editors over--
they kept me up for nights
shouting, acting like buffoons,
the arched ceiling of my ribs
shaken so badly it fell. I’m in
the hospital. Doctors can’t
diagnose me. Medical books
have no lessons on dying from nasty editors. They
prescribe aspirin. I weaken.
Their stethoscopes hear
"Perfectly describes the
effect of putting your heart and soul before an editor and
"Really lays out the feeling
every writer has of going about everyday activities, like
eating a bowl of cornflakes, when all the while your
insides are being eaten away by some thoughtless editor."
"A strong poem that
grounds intangible feelings in the physical reality
of chicken bones and corn flakes."
Comments from the writer: Ken Pobo
The tote bag arrived and I
love it! I've been showing it off at work. I
went to the site and enjoyed seeing my poem and work by
the other 2 winners.
My poem took 35 years to
write. I had to encounter enough yucky editors to make it happen. That said, I have also encountered many
editors who have made useful suggestions and not held work
for a billion years. To the nasty ones who don't respond at all or take
respond, I have three words: GET OUT NOW. If you can't do
professionally, then don't do it. Sell lemonade on the
corner or wear a
sandwich board advertising really wow shoes. But don't
editing a small press magazine is a labor of love. We know
getting rich from it. But writers make the magazine
possible. Without us,
online journals are blank screens and print journals are
blank pages. And
while we're at it, let's just end this "No multiple
submissions" rule. If
editors would respond in a timely manner, it wouldn't be
so bad, but wayyyy
too many don't. That's reality. Why should our poems be
Wendy Sterba for her entry
"Editorial License: Will meets his publisher 1609."
"Hey, Will, my man, you got something new
"Well, There's this little love poem I'm pretty happy
with. I thought you might sell it to a local entertainer."
"Let's give it a listen."
"Read it to me."
"When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, I all alone
beweep my outcast state and trouble..."
"Whoa! Stop! We've talked about this before!! Short
"You don't like it?"
"Let's just say it needs some work, but editor is my
middle name. Give me that parchment. We'll fix it! (Taking
a quill to make corrections). Now, about this first line,
am I getting this? '…in disgrace with fortune in men's
eyes' that means basically you're a loser, right? What a
lousy start! I'm crossing that out and putting "I'm a
loser" near the bottom."
"Uh, you're effacing the poetry of the metaphor."
"Well, that's not very "today", but, okay, we'll say
you're hitting a losing streak, and that'll make you seem
like less of a dork. Then there's this beweeping line.
Odsbodkins, I've told you before, keep it simple! Direct
emotion grabs the groundlings! What are you really saying?
- That you cry, and that next line about troubling deaf
heaven, it's the same, right? And so's the cursing your
fate line! Isn't it!? So, we've got "I cry, and I cry…"
Repetition of the prime emotions is key to rhythmic
coherence!! But what a downer!! Let's accentuate the
positive, shall we? We'll change cry to try. Sweet! And
repeat that again, then there's enough syllables!"
"But you've destroyed the poetic flow."
"You wanna be a man of today or some historic has-been.
It's all about fragmentation these days! Now, the plot:
this chick's driving you crazy 'cause she won't play
on/off with your codspiece and you're bummed…"
"But that's all wrong! See, here, I've written, 'Yet in
these thoughts myself almost despising, Haply I think on
thee, and then my state like to the lark at break of day
sings hymns at heaven's gate…' See, when I think about her
it makes me happy!"
"Then say that in the first place! All that larks and
heaven's gate stuff doesn't really work, now does it?!! I
mean, Pollyanna stuff just doesn't sell! The public wants
brooding, and suffering. Think of your successes! Lear!
Hamlet! Trust me, nobody'll remember this kind of sappy
stuff. It's gotta have torment! (Scratching out another
line) Yessir, that's the chorus! Now..."
"Chorus! This is a sonnet! There's no chorus in a sonnet!"
"No. Its pastiche! So, she won't give you the time of day.
She's playing you, saying she'll come over next week or
maybe not. Excellent!! This part in your original's
decent: 'Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
with what I most enjoy contented least:" But the feelings,
not those ridiculous words!! What do you really mean?
You're frustrated, right?
"You can say that again!"
"Brilliant!! That's what makes you the man!! We'll write
that twice." Okay, its done and its perfect!! Take a
(Reading) "'I can't get no satisfaction. I can't get no
satisfaction, but I try and I try and I try…' but this is
nothing like my original poem."
"Of course it is! It's identical. I just fixed a few
things here and there! Now, there's a little matter of
"I'll give you my best bed."
"Won't Annie have something to say about that?"
"Believe me, the way I'm getting screwed, she'll
appreciate the metaphor and may it never give you an iota
"A clever concept, delivered
with real wit. A joy to read."
"This is so true it's
painful to read. The only thing that eased my pain was my
Writer's Comments: Wendy Sterba
Here's my bio and writer's
Wendy Sterba’s first novel, “ The Egg Book” published when
she was seven, examined the materialist effects of
overproduction on Capitalist class structures by depicting
a Queen who must endure a life of laying egg after egg
while her pet duck takes the throne. Ms. Sterba has
followed in the Queen’s footsteps ever since, producing
one well-rounded work after another each stored in the
grand jewel room of her castle treasury. She awaits the
day that her duck can return to its pond and she will
recover her magic scepter and once again have absolute
power over every thing in the universe.
Writer’s statement: Although some readers may not be aware
of the controversy caused by Shakespeare’s will, in which
he left his “second best bed” to his wife, I thought it
appropriate to include mention of it here. Had I had more
space, the story would have ended with the author’s
request to use the usual PR campaign, to which the editor
would have agreed to publish anonymously under the imputed
pseudonym of Francis Bacon.
Bonnie Boots says
"My sincere thanks to everyone that sent in an entry to
the Evil Editor. The display of talent and creativity was
awesome, in the purest sense of the word. Some of you took
up our challenge to write wildly funny and outrageous
entries. Others explored the real pain writers feel when
their work is ignored or rejected.
Entries came in from around
the globe, ranging from the United States and Canada to
Singapore and India. Some of the funniest entries came
from Australia. Sadly, no entries came from the American
Gulf States, a testament to the disruptive effect of
hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Taken all together, the
entries prove that very talented
writers around the world have to deal with being rejected and disrespected.
There's real comfort for writers in knowing the experience
is global rather than individual."
another chance to be published.
Send us a digital photo of yourself wearing any Write Side Out
T-shirt and a testimonial telling us how wearing it has improved
your life as a writer. We'll publish it on our testimonial
page! See all our designs for writers by CLICKING
HERE or use any of the links below.
GET FREE STUFF!
Register your email address and get our mailings. I'll
let you know when new designs and free, fun stuff is