Stephanie Burgis
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Why, Yahoo? Why?????
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So, a few days ago, I tried to send a submission to Aeon from my trusty Yahoo! email account. I attached the story to the email, wrote a cover letter, and pressed "Send". Yahoo flashed up a message: Error 999! This message cannot be sent! I tried 7 different times that day, not just from that account but from my other, secondary Yahoo account. Every single time, I got "Error 999!" and the submission wasn't sent. Meanwhile, I could send normal messages just fine from both accounts, and it even let me send a message with the exact same story attachment to Patrick. What was up???? Finally, grinding my teeth in frustration, I set up a whole new email account on Gmail, just to send that one story. In the next day or two, I continued to send other personal emails from my main account, which all transmitted just fine. Then, yesterday, I decided to send a submission to PodCastle. "No problem!" I thought. "It doesn't have an attachment! [PodCastle wants the stories embedded in the text of the emails.] It'll be just fine!" I set it all up, pressed "Send" - and got another Error 999!

The first inklings of the truth began to filter into my brain: Yahoo doesn't want me to send out writing submissions! But that seemed too implausible, too bizarre and paranoid. I gritted my teeth and sent out that submission, too, from my Gmail account. Later in the day, I sent more emails from my Yahoo account, without any problems.

Then this morning I decided to send out a query about another story. Just a query! It didn't have an attachment. It didn't even have a story in the text of the email. But guess what?

Error 999!

And I finally realized the truth: Yahoo is actively working to stifle my writing career.

This is a very depressing realization. Did someone in the business read one of my stories and dislike it? Did I offend them somehow? What caused this horrible state of affairs?

I guess I'm turning into a Gmail girl, from now on. Let's just hope that that all-knowing Gmail system, when it's scanning my emails (but NOT recording my web history in a Big Brother style, I hope, since I unchecked that in my setup preferences), doesn't turn against my writing in the way Yahoo did. Or at least: let it send me a critique first, before deciding to shut me down. I can take constructive suggestions. Really.

I just hope Yahoo will let writing responses arrive in my account. I can only assume they would approve, at least, of the rejections.

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