We all have our literary pet peeves, our annoyances as writers, editors, readers, proponents of literary justice. But this year seemed a little heavier than usual on the literary scandal and questionable choices made by those in the literati.
Therefore, to launch this year’s Festivus activities, we begin with the airing of literary grievances:
1.) Journals that don’t read their submissions.
2.) Presses that think it’s okay to only publish men. Also, writers who only read men. Also, people who do not see a problem with this and claim it’s all about “the quality of the writing.”
3.) Writers who think being racist is funny. (We’re looking at you, Daniel Handler!)
4.) After-the-fact apologies by presses / writers about issues of visibility re: gender/sexuality/race/etc. (It’s 2014. Get with it.)
5.) Poetry is dead posts written by people who don’t read poetry by living poets. (We see your diatribe and raise you one political poetry anthology, Juan Vidal.)
6.) The trend of excessively higher book manuscript contest fees. Also journals that charge reading fees for open submissions. (One day we will eat things that aren’t ramen!)
7.) Journals that think it’s okay to victim blame rape and abuse victims.
8.) Journals that only send status changes instead of proper rejection letters. (Seriously, folks. It’s so easy to send an email on Submittable.)
9.) Writers who don’t know how to be good literary citizens. (Step one: Support other writers you admire. Step two: Support the presses & journals that you admire. Step three: Don’t bite the hand that publishes you.)
10.) People who only buy small-press books from Amazon and refuse to support the presses directly. (If you aren’t aware, Amazon takes a minimum of 55% of the profit off the top from small presses. If you order directly from the publisher’s website, you’re giving your money directly the press and not to the pockets of Jeff Bezos.)
11.) Poet voice.
We could go on, but now we must get on to our feats of strength.
Happy Festivus, all!
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