Sunday, June 17, 2007

Writing Scams & Those Who Enable Them

Remember that pair of posts I did on June 1 here and June 2 here on how to spot a literary scam?

I just got an email from a writer thanking me. Here's part of his email:

Dear Maya, The Manhattan firm, Mark Sullivan Assoc. has an advertisement for new writer's in the Writer's Digest, August, 2007 issue, pg. 93, for which I pulled up his firm on the Internet only to find many red flags, your site was the most informing, thank you.

I'm posting this for two reasons: (1) We can't remind writers often enough to beware of scams, and (2) I have a deep disdain for Writer's Digest's advertising policies.

EVERYONE in the industry recognizes the twenty worst literary agencies. That P&E list has been floating around for more than a year. Yet here is a publication that purports to "help" writers taking advertising from questionable "agencies."

I stopped my subscription to Writers Digest long ago. If more writers would do so and send them a letter telling why they're cancelling the subscription, MAYBE Writer's Digest would behave more responsibly in their advertising practices.

I'm not saying they have to vet every advertiser. I'm saying that, IF YOU'RE GOING TO CLAIM TO BE A RESOURCE FOR BEGINNING WRITERS, at a minimum you should refuse to accept ads from those entities whose questionable practices are well known to everyone else in the industry.

Writer's Digest, the ball's in your court.

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