Thursday, September 24, 2015

To Fee or Not to Fee?

This morning I read an article over at Electric Lit by Lincoln Michael titled "Is it Time for Literary Magazines to Rethink the Slush?".  The article starts out discussing the subject of fees then talks about dealing with the slush piles.  He has some interesting ideas.  There were also links to other sites discussing this topic. 

And while he was talking about a $3 reading fee for a paying market, tonight I ran across an anthology market that charges a $35 fee and offers no payment.  Yesterday I found a market that charged between $25 and $45 depending on which category you were submitting to (poetry. short stories, and non-fiction) and also no payment.  Back a few months ago I found an anthology where they dropped the $10 fee because they received no submissions.  Better to have too much slush then nothing at all? 

It's bad enough these markets don't want to pay writers for their work but now they believe we should feel good about supporting their markets by paying all their costs in exchange to being published.  Vanity publishing in a new guise? 

8 comments:

Leroy Vaughn said...

What if someone started a publishing company and asked writers to send in money, and never published anything.
They would probably make more money than they ever could by publishing stories.
I'm not suggesting that, just a thought.

sandra seamans said...

I expect that has happened a few times over the years, Leroy. If there's a way to con people the cons will find it.

Manuel Royal said...

A submission fee for a nonpaying publication? That's a bloody scam.

Deborah Walker said...

Yep. A very poor trend. I won't be subbing to anyone with a fee. See them tremble!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I won't send my work to a nonpaying market let alone pay them to consider my work. You have to respect yourself and your work. If you feel your work is worth nothing, others will feel the same. I understand that many beginning writers are willing to write for "exposure" but I think they do themselves and other writers a disservice. It's fine to donate work for charity, but otherwise I believe writers should be paid for their work. We don't expect plumbers or electricians to work for free. Why should writers?

sandra seamans said...

You're exactly right, Manuel!

Hopefully most writers will not submit if there are fees, Deborah. I can't believe the fees have gone from a dollar a year ago to over ten dollars and more this year. That's a very excessive and ridiculous increase.

I would prefer to be paid for my work, Jacqueline, but with the mystery markets that's not always possible. And sometimes, like with Needle magazine, you find yourself in stellar company. There are benefits when you're first starting out to being published online in some of the non-paying zines but at some point you have to go to the next level.

Thomas Pluck said...

They want to cut down on their slush piles, but they shouldn't do it on the backs of the writer.
I won't pay to submit. Even contests, I don't have any interest.

sandra seamans said...

I won't pay either, Thomas. I think I'd rather post on my blog than pay someone to publish one of my stories.