Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Episode 926: Should Age Matter?

Just got back from dinner at Krisztina's place. It was nice meeting Astrid and Faithful as well. Can't remember when I last laughed so much chatting with people who were total strangers just hours ago, and boy, did we cover a lot of topics! Anyway, being listed with Duotrope is finally starting to pay off for the journal, now that it's no longer tagged as a 'Fledgling' market and appears on the top 25 lists for response statistics. I wouldn't say there's been a sudden surge in submissions, although it's obvious that some people found the journal because of the editor's interview I completed for Duotrope's Digest. Especially the high school senior who still politely addressed me in his e-mail as Mr. Chung, even after I signed off my acceptance with just Ian. On a related note, I'm also starting to find it harder to decide whether to accept or reject submissions, knowing that some of the pieces are coming from relatively young writers. If I'm judging the pieces on their merits, shouldn't age count for something? In the sense that it seems unrealistic to me to expect a teenager to be writing to the same standard as a middle-aged man. I'm not saying it's impossible, and I'm aware I risk sounding patronising, which I don't intend to at all. It's just that I somehow feel if all I'm doing by editing this online literary journal is providing an avenue for people to show their work to a wider audience, then it should surely be okay not to strictly apply some sort of arbitrary standard across the board and say that's what everyone submission has to hit to get accepted. It's not like I'm handing out prizes or anything, right? I still wouldn't publish anything I regard as drivel, no matter the submitter's age, but if I'm really wavering between yes and no, I think looking at the person's age would sway me.

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