Ivan Returns


I couldn’t believe my eyes yesterday morning. I received another query from Ivan, with essentially the same content as the first query he sent me in August of last year.

After thinking it over for 24 hours, here’s the response I sent:

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I’m not sure if you have incredible gall or a terrible memory, but we’ve gone through this before. My writers’ guidelines are clearly posted, and my newsletter has absolutely nothing to do with [redacted to protect the ignorant] or [redacted to protect the ignorant]; queries to editors need to be spelled, punctuated, and capitalized properly (and have correct spacing in them!); and I would never, ever accept articles from or offer payment to someone who said this to me at our last contact, on August 14, 2006:

they say there is no master of spelling and if there is one out there i would be surprised.i dont know why you flamed me.next time you better be polite than and have manners with respect.i feel sorry for people who work for you.im not desperate for a job as i write for a top [redacted to protect the ignorant] newspaper than a newsletter.i read your guidelines and to show how unprofessionally you are you accussed me of not reading.

you sound desparate and you are not getting enough.

An editor responds with specific feedback as to why your approach was unsuccessful and makes suggestions as to how to improve it for the future, and then wishes you luck, and you accuse the editor of flaming you and respond with a personal attack that goes so far as to question the quality and/or frequency of the editor’s sexual activities? Are you joking? This is completely unacceptable. The only appropriate response to an editor who takes time out of his or her day to help you is “Thank you,” period.

And if you want me or any editor to believe that you are qualified as a writer, you need to demonstrate a basic level of literacy by showing that you have read and understood the publicly available guidelines and that you have basic writing skills that include correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation — or at least knowledge of Spell Check.

If you contact me again at any time for any reason, I’ll be forced to file a formal harassment complaint with your internet service provider and both my and your local law enforcement offices.

Kristen King

You may notice that I borrowed liberally from my winning entry in the Rejection Letter I’d Love to Send contest.

So, the takeaway is this: Editors have long memories. It’s kind of what they do. It can work for you, or it can work against you. And if you’re stupid enough to pull an Ivan, make a note of the bridges you’ve burned so you don’t accidentally contact one of those people again.

What a moron.

Finalist in 2006 Writer’s Digest Best Writer’s Website Contest

Contents © Copyright 2007 Kristen King. All rights reserved.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

10 comments… add one
  • Mar 11, 2007

    When I read your post on Ivan’s return, the little typewriter above the blog said, “Don’t mess with Kristen King.” So appropriate! :o)

    I hadn’t read about Ivan before, so I read the original post, the new post, and the dream rejection letter. I couldn’t stop laughing… I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets contacted by crazies. ;o)

  • Mar 12, 2007

    Back when I published The Writing Parent, I learned to just delete, delete, delete. I used to try to explain, and then I realized why so many editors use form letters ;)

    At least it makes for fun blog fodder!

  • Mar 12, 2007

    HOWL!! Oh lord, he just doesn’t get it, does he? The way to an employer’s heart is NOT to terrorize and accuse her of being, how can I put it, nookie challenged.

    He’s certainly entertaining on a watching-a-bug-try-to-find-its-way-out-of-a-paper-bag level.

  • Mar 12, 2007

    I would personally like to know who this “they” who claim there is “no master of spelling” is/are. Huh?

    I have trouble believing Ivan is real, but few trolls have an attention span that long. Sheesh.

  • Mar 14, 2007

    k, this dude is like scary. what a stalker.


  • Mar 14, 2007

    Oh, I assure you, he’s real. He belongs to a forum I frequent. How’s that for awkward?

  • Mar 17, 2007

    Lordy. I think I know Ivan as one of the people who tries to apply for jobs on my blog through me. People, I’m not hiring. Click the link!

    I think some people just enjoy being difficult.

    Solidarity, sister! (and see you at b5!)

  • Mar 17, 2007

    How utterly bizarre (and kind of creepy…). He’s almost like a self-parody.

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