Oh, for goodness’s sake…

It’s super right-on of online magazine the Offing to care about the differences between exposure and support…. except the Offing expects aspiring authors to pay $3 per submission. Yes, people are now paying to enter the slush pile! Madness.

Lest we get too upset with the Offing, they may have been suckered as well–they’re paying at least $319 a year for the submission system that collects their fees. There’s no way to do it through Paypal Accounts or Google Pay or some other free system? I suppose it’s cheaper than an employee, though, and it makes the swindle easier.

(What disgusts me about submission fees–besides the devaluing of work, and the bizarre idea that they somehow help the marginalized, in this case–is that they’re so easy to make extremely predatory, extremely quickly. The Offing is an online offshoot of Los Angeles Review of Books, and LARB’s reputation is presumably why someone would bother paying to take a shot at publication. Well, what if I start a site that’s “associated” with a better-known publication, or if I promise that fans will have their submissions read by a big-name writer to encourage them to pay a bigger fee, or [the most obvious swindle] if I promise that writers who pay or who pay more have a better chance of publication, and so on and so on… there are a thousand ways to make this a totally unethical process.)

For more on this ouroborous, a conversation between the Offing and Nick Mamatas at Storify, where I found out about this in the first place.


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