(Answer, part 1)
How can Epi think to deal with new issues when the old ones are not being cleared?
--Unfortunately, because we have only one programmer, issues have to be prioritized. Believe it or not, many of the improvements you are just seeing now have been on the agenda for years, and are not new issues at all. The concerns raised by members of this LJ are relatively new, and have only really become major issues now that Epilogue has begun to grow exponentially, and more and more artists are trying to make their homes there. The Epitome magazine, for example, has been in the works since shortly after I became an Epilogue member. At that time, there were very few concerns about the forums, rejected images, or communication with the editors. Improvements to the editorial process ARE in the works, but there are a lot of other issues being dealt with as well, so we do have to ask for patience.
Will these new rejection messages be more detailed in why the piece is being rejected?
--Not in and of themselves, but we are constantly adding new messages/amending the old ones in order to make the intent behind them clearer, and cover every possible contingency. We have also added (and recently amended) the Reject Message Page (available through the FAQ section) to further elucidate.
Will it also include, since it is an automated email notice, a comment section for the mods/editor such as EW mods have to write in and explain the problem a bit more to the members?
--Sorry if I made it sound like there'd be an automated notice via e-mail--there are no plans (that I know of) to start sending out e-mails. However, the contact form for the editors, as I understand it, will send a query to all the editors, allowing EVERYONE to see what you are asking, and raising the likelihood of your getting a reply from the actual editor who did the rejecting. We will not be typing in personal notes for every rejection, because rejections based on quality tend to be much, much more complex to explain than Elfwood's rejections, which tend to be based on genre or very simple quality issues, such as lined paper or poor scan quality.
This new contact form for the editors, is their response going to be more timely given and helpful or the same snarky comments of those who occasionally received a reply in the past?
--I haven't been witness to any snarky comments, but if it helps at all, you will be getting responses only from the editors, not from Chad, the forum mods, or anyone else. If you don't like a specific editor, or consider them snarky, you are welcome to note in your query that you'd like to hear from a specific editor. Personally, I answer all queries within 1-3 days, depending on workload, and I should imagine it would be roughly the same for everyone.