That Insular Community

Apparently Groffingate is a thing now. Well, I don’t really care about that, nor do I suspect this is near big enough to be any sort of “gate” – no friendships are being lost due to this, not on my part anyway – but I did want to respond directly to one thing, because it genuinely upset me – because it isn’t true.

In the comments of Mr. Lucs’s article, commenter The Practical Conservative says this:

I’m a housewife and I stand by my tldr; comment since nothing’s been posted that shows otherwise. The anthologies and magazines and even the presses are still closed/invite-only and if that’s “wide open” then I guess we need a dictionary change.

And being a housewife and not a dude, I don’t want to get screamed at for not liking people’s friends’ writing, which is what criticizing the mediocre stuff tends to get you. Dudes like to throw down, I have to reserve that energy for continuing to write. I don’t mind having to self-publish, but I mind a little having to submit to mainstream SFF mags because they actually have open submissions and having no small or medium press to submit to at all.

If those supposed options were there, I could easily have had some shorts and a few novellas already published just from being able to focus on writing and not also all the prep work. Having non self-pub options would be nice, but oh well!

Now this is a stunningly ignorant comment, to the point where, while I don’t really want to, I need to consider the possibility that it’s a flat-out lie.

None of this is true.

Superversive Press is publishing 11 – eleven! – anthologies this year alone, none of which are closed or invite-only submission. “Tales of the Once and Future King”? That was open submission, and advertised as widely as I could get it. Cirsova? Open submission. I should know. I submitted a story…and was rejected. Storyhack? That one was open submission as well. Silver Empire Press had open submissions for urban fantasies. Castalia House? Open submisions, right now.

Bad reviews? Well, Rawle Nyanzi wrote this review of “Forbidden Thoughts”. I wrote this review of “Sword and Flower”. Did a whole bunch of discussion – dare I say, oh horror of horrors for a mere housewife, arguing! – happen? Yeah, sure. News flash: If I had decided not to discuss it, the world would not have ended. Mr. Nyanzi, for his part, was perfectly gracious after receiving the review.

But, do we tend to avoid giving bad reviews to each other? Of course we do (though I hope nobody here lies)! We’re building something here. Many of us are new authors, up and coming, learning. Constructive criticism, sure. But we want to encourage, to grow. Isn’t that what we all want here?

And I get it. This is getting dangerously close to being a thing now. But how can I possibly let something so flat-out false in every aspect just stand?

I don’t think I can.