Displaying Your Rejections: Why We Need To Give Permission

My first piece of published writing, which I got paid for, was from AlienSkin magazine. They are now defunct, sadly, but the editors were very nice and compassionate. I got a check for five dollars in the mail that I didn’t know how to cash. in my defense, I was fourteen.

AlienSkin Magazine always did personal rejections. If you gave permission, they would roast you on their website. They usually did it in good-natured fun. I got zapped twice. When I asked for one on a third story, they sent an email saying that it was too nice.

The ZAP Room was a webpage full of laughs. You would get good writing advice as well. More importantly, the editors mandated that only authors who asked to be put in the ZAP Room would be featured. I miss that.

Today, it came out that the publisher of Unfit and Unreal magazine has been publishing lists of the authors and short stories they haven’t accepted. The sordid details are on Twitter, but the gist is that these names of rejected authors are displayed, with a rating of 1 to 4 stars. That’s it. Thinkerbeat is the submission site.

I’ve submitted stories to these magazines. So far there’s been no response according to my Gmail. I don’t know if my name was on that list. Even so, while I wouldn’t care, I am concerned that this potentially humiliates other authors.

The issue isn’t just that these stories are being shown as the ones who didn’t make it into the magazine. That by itself can be infuriating. It’s that the editors and website hosts didn’t ask permission for this endeavor. The authors ought to have been given the option to opt in, the way AlienSkin would suggest it.

If one of the best defunct token markets could prove that you could be a decent human being and do some roasts, then no one else has an excuse. Let’s make writing a world that is welcoming,


Leave a Reply