Really, that’s it. If you send me story ideas, I immediately dump them unread into the trash, and I won’t acknowledge I’ve received them.
The reasons should be obvious, but in case they aren’t:
1. I have lots of ideas of my own, thanks;
2. Seriously, I have more ideas for books and stories than I will ever actually be able to write;
3. We live in a litigious society what I don’t want to be doing is spending time or money defending myself from some random person claiming I took their story idea, and yes, there’s past precedent of people sending writers ideas and then getting angry when they’re used.
Also, bluntly, I don’t need help. I’m pretty good with this whole “think up cool concepts to write stories about” thing. By all indications, it seems to be working out for me.
I suspect the vast majority of the people who want to give me story ideas mean it as a compliment, as in, “Hey, you could do this better than I could.” A rather smaller number mean it kind of in the other way, as in, “you’re not very good at this writing thing so I will graciously deign to help you out.” And some people mean it in another way, as in “the tin foil hat slipped and the voices are telling me to send this to you.” Regardless of the reason these ideas are sent, however, they all end up in the same place: The trash, unread and unacknowledged.
So might as well just not send them to me at all. Keep them! And maybe one day write them yourself. And then maybe I’ll read them, and go, “Hey, that was a cool idea. Glad I got to read it.”