bits and pieces

This is a photo of a sort of landmark on my neighbor’s land out near my cabin. “If you come to the burned out truck, you missed the turn.” This was a working vehicle when it was parked. When we would come to our cabin, we would see it moved, so we knew he was using it for something. Then we found it looking like this. The story I heard later was that he was doing some controlled burning of the dry grass nearby and pretty much lost control of the fire. (You can see that this sits on a ridge top, thus wind.) So it sat like this for years but then one visit we saw that it was gone. I suppose it was worth something as scrap metal.

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I’ve gotten into a little flame war on Facebook about submission fees for journals. My position is that I will not pay to have my story considered for publication. (We’re all cautioned not to pay to have our novels published, so why should it be different for short stories?) When I see a call for submission that interests me, and I click the link, if I see that there is a submission fee that they “forgot” to include in the text of the call, I graciously add the fee in a comment below. And I’ve found I’m not the only one to do this. My submission-to-acceptance ratio is such that I can’t throw $3 (or as much as $25) in with each story I submit, even if they do pay for published stories.

Some editors have gotten feisty about this, writing at length about their cost of doing business, and I understand that, but I feel that they’re transferring this cost onto the submitter. I don’t make any money doing this either, so why should the funding onus fall on me?

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I was also a little feisty myself when I saw a different call for submission to a magazine I had submitted a story to several years ago. I had never received a response from the magazine, and I logged it as No Response in my tracker. Now I realize this is one way to manage the deluge of responses, but if so, it seems that the publication ought to say so. The same thing happened with a submission to the magazine a year ago. So when I saw their call, I added my comment that I’d never received a response. Factual, if a little embittered. The editor then responded to my comment with a profuse apology and noted that I was not the only one to raise such a concern. He said they are working hard to correct this. Then he sent me a personal message saying the same thing. That was nice, but it wasn’t really necessary.

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Sometimes I think writers are seen as merely commodity producers and revenue streams. (Note: I feel much this way when I go to the doctor.)

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I rode the 26+ mile Indian Creek/Blue River Trail on Saturday. Probably my best ride so far, not only because it was cool in the morning, but because my muscles and heart and lungs seem to be getting on board with the plan. (Just in time for cooler weather when I’ll put the bike away for the season.) On Sunday, I was struck down with a throat cold and wandered the house in a semi-conscious state, when I wasn’t napping. I don’t think the two are related, though I have no idea where I picked up the cold.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ramblings Off Topic, Rants and ruminations, Uncategorized

One Comment on “bits and pieces”


  1. Like you, I am not a fan of submitting works to places requiring fees to be considered for publication. I know in an ideal world, all literary publications would have funding (and writers would be able to still make livings writing short fiction). But it’s asking writers to fund what then seems more like a pet project at that point. “We publish on the backs of writers who are usually even more cash-strapped than us!”

    I would love to make a living writing fiction, but technical writing pays the bills. Were my fiction a literary publication, it would be one that ceased to exist because the money is not there. I’d love to spend today working on the latest novel, but unfortunately, creating a help system for ordering and shipping software is what the bulk of my writing day looks like.

    Imagine the outcry if more popular authors, names big enough to maybe give a boost to a literary publication, asked for fees from magazines wanting to publish their works.

    “I’m sorry, but to better help me decide which publication will ultimately publish this story, I require $10 if you’re small and $25 if you’re larger. ($250 if you’re very large. $1000 if you’re the New Yorker…which is probably where I’ll go if they pay up. The rest of you: know your funds are going to support a writer…what could be more noble?)”

    Obviously, a stretch of an example, but the spirit is there.


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