would you pay to submit a story?
Many publications are now charging a fee to submit stories for consideration. This is not news, and I expect the trend to continue. Though there has been some backlash — at least one writer I know has said she will never pay a fee to submit a story — I don’t think the objection is strong enough to stop the trend.
In part I think this lack of a backlash is due to the fee-charging apparently occurring mostly in the high-end literary journals. Many writers would love to see their work appear in such respected rags, so they’re either willing to pay the fee for the chance, or they’re willing to be less vocal in their objection lest they offend the almighty lit mag, at least for now. It’s a seller’s market when you consider that the publication is selling you the chance to be published.
I’m not sure how I feel. To begin with, I’m not sure my stories would ever have a chance at publication in the really high-end journals anyway, so why would I want to pay for the privilege of getting a rejection that I fully expect to receive anyway. Conversely, it may be that such fees will scare away so many submissions that my work won’t get lost in the sea of documents these places face each day. (I still doubt that my stories would have a chance in some of those places.)
I can remember a couple of years ago a lot of posts in the blogosphere about the disdain for ereaders. There were many vocal folk who insisted they would never abandon the traditional printed book in favor of one of those gizmos. You don’t hear that talk much now.
So we’ll see what happens next. Though I think fee charging will probably become a fixture at some publications, I also think the trend will peak soon. Let’s see how close my guess turns out to be.
So would you pay to submit a story?