My inbox usually looks like this:
- Rejections: 1
- Acceptances: 0
- Earnest Pleas for Donations: 3
- “Reserve Now to Attend Our Writing Workshop!” 6
- “Seriously! Buy something from us. Something! Anything! Or Donate! You don’t even have to buy!” 4
Today I received an email from a lit-mag I have never submitted to. I have never subscribed to their mailing list. They need me to donate or subscribe. I can’t submit to this lit mag – I don’t meet the qualifications they are looking for in their authors. It’s a specific segment they are looking for and I don’t fit. This is OK by me – there are lots of lit mags that will accept my submissions. Some even read them – not all of course. Being rejected unread is an occupational hazard.
So how did I get on this mailing list?
Obviously someone I do subscribe to dimed me out. I do subscribe to a few mailers, hoping to see the occasional call of submissions or even a contest that piques my interest. These actually rarely come. It’s mostly begging for money. This is ironic because writers have no money. This is a closed loop of sorts and doomed to failure.
I’m well aware that lit mags are not a get rich quick scheme. I am sure the editorial staff of these mags thinks they are doing something worthwhile. However, diming me out is an unethical way to stay poor.
I see this and I think this is just another lit mag on life support. That’s too bad but it’s not uncommon.
I unsubscribed – one of the prompts for “reason you are unsubscribing” was “I did not subscribe to this newsletter” – which begs the same question I posed above.
I’ve seen lit mags fold that I miss, and I’ve seen lit mags fold that should have folded before they started. I can’t tell you what will save you. But I don’t owe you anything other than a clean submission, and you don’t owe me anything other than to keep it confidential.
Well, actually, you owe it to me to publish the story you accept. But that’s another blog post I’m saving for a later day.
Keep your beer cold and your nachos hot, I’ll be back.