There’s been a lot of talk in the blogosphere the past couple of days about GISHWHES. To be clear, I had never heard of this for-charity international scavenger hunt before the other day, and I have not  done due diligence on it, so I cannot speak to whether or not the organization itself is worthwhile. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that it is. Let’s talk about why so many of your favorite authors are so grumpy about being asked to write a 140-word story about Misha Collins, the Queen of England, and an imaginary creature on behalf of people entered in it. Continue reading

In Defense of the Defenders

I’m going to break my rule about keeping this blog dedicated to writing, because there’s currently a scandal going on in the science fiction community. Normally I’d keep my mouth shut on a scandal, but things like this do affect us as writers, and it’s good to think about them. For context, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s children have both spoken out publicly (one on the blog of author Deirdre Saoirse Moen and the other on facebook) accusing their mother of having molested them. Continue reading

“We Can’t Afford To Pay…”

Let’s talk money.

I don’t know if it’s beginning to happen more often or if I’m just noticing it more acutely recently, but the phrase, “We don’t pay our writers…” (and the usual variations on it) is showing up in submission guidelines all over the place. The closely related, “We can only offer token payment…” is alarmingly common. Folks, even if you’re just starting out and hungry for exposure, you should regard non-payment, token-payment, and royalty-only offers for publication as a huge red flag. Continue reading