A recent article in Forbes magazine describes how more literary magazines will soon be charging fees for people who submit. This could be a really good thing. It will help small journals stay afloat--and lord knows they need all the help they can get! Also, it might decrease the amount of submissions they receive overall, minimizing their slush piles and response turn-around times. This is great for writers and editors alike.
On the other hand, submission fees might alienate the very people whose voices most need to be heard. Today I read a wonderful short story in the lit mag "Gargoyle." The story had been written by a woman who was homeless. It was a beautiful story and I'm so glad the journal published it. A $2 reading fee might not mean much to most of us. But to some this could be the difference between sending out a story and buying food.
I'm curious what other people think about this. Currently there's a discussion starting on Twitter with the hashtag #LitMagFees. If you post a comment, please include @TheReviewReview, so I will see your comment and can respond. I plan to round up various comments and include them in the weekly newsletter for The Review Review.
(For those who don't know, The Review Review is a website that reviews literary magazines, interviews editors, and offers publishing tips to writers. Our weekly newsletter offers a round-up of all the latest news in lit mag publishing.)
I concur but she wasn't interested. It took her a while to respond to my email asking if I could submit electronically from abroad. She merely said wait. Well, by the time they go live I'll likely be back in the US enjoying holidays. CNF and a few others are some I plan to submit when back home bc they only accept via snail mail.
It is what it is, now, you have to pay to play which is sad, yet totally american capitalism at its best.
Why not re-work the business model so *struggling* writers can have a level playing field...
Unless, the goal is to get non-struggling writers (those who already get PAID) to submit (pay), which would then mean instant sales, views, traffic to the site...because of the name recognition of the PAID writer...
Time to OCCUPY Literary Journals or Magazines who do this.
How many three dollar *fees* will it take to keep a mag afloat? Who is going to process (be paid to) all those annoying pay-pal transactions...or do you send a check? Who will make the time at the lit mag to run to the BANK with the coin jars and the checks? Will they take cash and...and ...and?
So, writers will decide/or choose to pay these types of fees or to just go ahead a pay a contest fee that just might lead to a cash money prize. Again, same concept-- in a sense. So, at AWP, where everybody has a lit. mag/journal, blah-blah, will you pay the *colleague,* i.e., another MFA student/graduate, three or more dollars to submit to him/her? I can't laugh out loud enough about that so not happening.
Some interesting thoughts here, Melody. Occupy Lit Mags!
I've been rounding up various responses to the submission fee thing to include in The Review Review's weekly newsletter. Is it cool if I quote you? (If you want I can just use your initials.)
Initials are just fine... Or you could say: "I heard..."
Thanks for asking.
personally, i don't submit to magazines that charge a reading fee. there are so many that Don't charge fees, its hard to justify sending my poetry to a magazine that does.
I just took time today to surf around in this group and catch up on some of the discussions. I also subscribed to The Review Review. This is a very informative discussion, and I'm glad to see that a lot of other writers have the same problems I've run into with the literary magazines. Glad to be a part of this group.