Submissions Remain Closed & Sucuri Gives The All-Clear – Admin Update 10/23/2012

October 23, 2012 at 10:34 AM
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Just a general update for those of you who are still confused:

1. As has been said many times, the site was a victim of a malicious hacker. With the help of our hosting company and Sucuri, this has been taken care of. A few of you also helped me to raise the money necessary for a year-long Sucuri site-monitoring package (a million thanks to you all), and this was successfully purchased yesterday. Sucuri’s verdict is that the site is now clean, so those of you who were sticking to RSS should be able to come back now!

2. During the issues with the hack, I literally spent almost every minute of my free time trying to fix that issue. Most of that time was playing catch-up with the malicious script, since until I found the actual root of the issue everything that I cleaned just kept getting re-infected. Because of this, I did not get to read one single submission for almost an entire week even though I was absolutely glued to my computer. I’ve been reading them in my spare time over the past few days, but I am still INCREDIBLY behind, to the tune of still reading things from the last week of August.

This means that submissions will REMAIN CLOSED for awhile, until I can process the ENTIRE SUBMISSION QUEUE – currently stacked 758 submissions deep. I will be reading them as quickly as I can, but there are a few things that I ask you guys to keep in mind:

  • I am reading in my free time. I do have many other things that require my attention and time on a day-to-day basis, so do remember that I still live a life beyond the computer screen that interrupts the submission-reading-robot persona that most of you seem to imagine! This is also the same reason that I am hesitant to give anyone concrete, ‘I will be done by __’ types of answers. Life is too unpredictable for that kind of guarantee.
  • I do need to take breaks every so often. As anyone who has ever tried to cram before a test can probably sympathize with, after reading for a certain amount of time, words tend to run together. When I hit this point, I have to stop. For whatever reason, when I hit that point of not absorbing things correctly, I tend to start reading submissions as worse than they actually are. Like, I’ll see run-ons where they don’t exist, that sort of thing. So in order to keep myself from rejecting perfectly good pastas solely due to my tired brain, I have to pace myself.
  • Because of this insane backlog, the whole ‘ask me about missing pastas after two months’ is kind of on hold. I’m almost exactly two months behind right now! What makes more sense is to wait until I finish the entire queue, then if you haven’t received an answer one way or the other (and do make sure to check your spam filters, guys, I’ve had reports that my emails end up there sometimes), THEN you should ask me. Right now, if you haven’t received an answer and you submitted after mid-August, there is a 99% chance that I just simply haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Asking me over and over to check on submissions that were submitted in late September, for example, is sort of pointless and time-wasting when I’ve been telling you guys that I’m still in August.
  • I am not reopening submissions until I am done. Please respect this; stop trying to submit via comments. Prefacing such comments with “I know you said not to do this, but [insert submission anyhow]” is just plain rude and I’m just going to delete your comment for feeling like you’re somehow a special snowflake whose submission is more important than everyone else’s. It will NOT kill you to wait for a little while as I go through the veritable mountain of old submissions.
  • Please use this time to refine, proofread, and edit any pastas that you’re waiting on submitting. As anyone who frequents Crappypasta can tell you, 90% of pastas are rejected because the author simply didn’t bother to proofread at ALL. Sending your pasta to me in such a state does nobody any favors, least of all you. Post it on forums like Terror Tortellini, /x/, or any of the other forums on the sidebar links section. Have a teacher, friend, or parent peer-review for you. Sometimes all it takes is just you re-reading the story even once to notice glaring errors! By proofreading and editing BEFORE you submit, you both increase your chances of being approved as well as help reduce the clutter in the submission queue.

Thank you for your time, and I will inform you when I’m done clearing the queue.