Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Biased Publishers

What do you think about journals and magazines that only accept writing from certain types of people?

Example, "ATTN: Minorities, we're seeking writing from you and you alone. That means African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, a-sexual persons, and women."

That wasn't even an exaggeration. I've seen calls exactly like it.

These are essentially calls for submissions that alienate straight white men. Publishers are saying anyone but "them" should submit their stories, poems, art et cetera. I've even seen editors admit that they're sick of seeing submissions from "straight white men." What if the same editor said this about straight black men?

One could argue:

 Mary Ann Evans had to hide her identity and write under the pen name George Eliot to share her stories. 

You know what comes to mind:

Here's an example of a biased call for submission I was emailed recently:

I could pull the Jew card with some of these places, sure.


Here's the deal though, I want my stories to see the light of day based on the merit of my storytelling capability, dedication, and hard work. Not for the color of my skin, religion, or where I stick my private part to be the deciding factor of my successes.

Yet, I also don't judge people for using an edge to get their words out there. Every writer who sends their story somewhere is doing more than most people in their shoes. I've met more individuals than I can remember who told me they write, however, never send the story anywhere.


There have been others who told me they'd love to write, yet never did.


The worst are the ones who are terrific storytellers and don't make an effort to jot those magical thoughts of theirs down somewhere. Perhaps no one ever told them:

Despite this qualm of mine with the industry, if there's say a girl scout somewhere who identifies with a journal that only accepts writing for and from girl scouts like her, I don't judge that child, rather I'm excited for her when her incredible story she worked on for hours and days gets published.


Those that do, deserve respect.

In the grand scheme, there are a lot of white male writers who don't want their work associated with publishers like all-women journals (just for example sake). They're sexist and unethical. This aside, shouldn't writing have to do with, well, the words?

My main concern: The more we divide ourselves the more walls will be built, and from that more intolerance will spawn. 

Shakespeare said my point best:

Food for thought: Wouldn't it be ridiculous to hear about your friend who was at a job interview and the hiring manager said: "We're only hiring GLBTs and Latinos currently, sorry."

P.s. If you're a writer, artist, or suicidal poet and you would like to submit your creativity to places but don't have resources, check out these amazing places that want to help:

CRWROPPS - Be aware, they send several emails at a time
Freedom with Writing - They also email job listings for writers and editors
Authorspublish.com - Great people
Calls for Submissions