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Saturday, July 20, 2019

At The Atlantic: Should Literary Journals Charge Writers Just to Read Their Work?

Article here

Excerpt:
It’s fall, the time of year when literary journals open their doors for new submissions. Around the country, writers are polishing poems, short stories, and essays in hopes of getting published in those small-but-competitive journals devoted to good writing. Though I’ve published short stories in the past, I’m not submitting any this year, and if things continue the way they have been, I may stop writing them altogether. The reason, in a nutshell, is reading fees—also called submission or service fees—which many literary journals now charge writers who want to be considered for publication. Writers pay a fee that usually ranges from $2 to $5—but sometimes goes as high as $25—and in return, the journal will either (most likely) reject or accept their submission and publish it. Even in the lucky case that a piece is published, most journals don’t pay writers for their work, making it a net loss either way.