Has anyone else had problems regarding submissions to "Spinetingler?"

Within the past 14 months, I've submitted a couple of short stories to Spinetingler with the requested release forms.  I've followed them up with multiple e-mails inquiring as to their status.  I either received no response or got an  "Automated Response" that had nothing to do with author submission status.     

Also...what is the story on their "Release Form" required with submission and before an acceptance or rejection?  Didn't like it to begin with, but now with this experience, it appears a writer has signed away 1st North American Rights indefinitely, even if you've never received a response.

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That explains the need for fifteen months of exclusivity, and I see nothing wrong with that. Thanks for clearing that up, Jack. I see nothing in the release as stated that would raise a red flag. I'm assuming there is additional compensation for inclusion in the "best of" anthology but I'm unclear as to what you mean by archiving the work though.

Jed, the question you need to ask yourself is, is it worth tying the story up for 15 months if you get into the magazine. For that you need to ask yourself, is the royalty amount acceptable, does the magazine have significant enough prestige and circulation to enhance your presence as a writer, ie, give you exposure, getting your story into the hands of enough readers and bragging rights. "My story X, appeared in magazine Y." Giving you a measure of validation in reader's eyes.

Just my take on it. Good luck

Still, no one has touched my question--why should writers agree to sending release with submission and before acceptance?  So I get it; I give up before my nose changes color.

Still, I believe that writers should never be hesitant to discuss and/or criticize the policies of specific publications, editors, agents or publishers, with or without veiled threats of repercussions.  Otherwise we've no more backbone than 19th century factory workers and will probably end up being paid similarly.

Jed, my guess is that SPINETINGLER includes the release form at least partially as information. It also sounds as though you can ignore the 15 month provision if you're not interested in the chance of being included in the anthology. The latter is a bit strange. First rights are always tied to the first publication dates. Any other rights are secondary and should be handled separately.  Usually, the contract doesn't cover them. It sounds as though SPINETINGLER doesn't want an e-publication or a publication in another print venue to compete with the anthology. I wouldn't like this tying up of my work on the off chance for that long.

Anthology pubs do pay a small amount of money.

Hey, Jed, I guess I'm not understanding the question. Why should a writer agree to the release? The simple answer is to get their work into the magazine since it is required by the publisher.  Jack explained the why behind it--both why they ask for fifteen months and why they require the release (they got burned by writers in the past)

If the terms are not agreeable to the individual writer, then they should simply move on. The answer to that question will be different for every writer, depending on the writer and the stage they are at in their career and what they want out of their career.

As for discussing and /or criticizing the publishers. Well, I'm all for discussing, and I agree writers should not be sheep, blinding doing whatever the publisher ask of them, no matter how harmful it is to their career. Luckily, now, writers have viable choices. If you don't like the terms spelled out in the release, submit somewhere else, or self-pub it. But the only way a publisher's going to change a bad deal for writers (and I am not saying this one is) will be if enough writers stand up for themselves and their work and stay away.

Some writers might not care about tying up there work for that long, others might figure they can do better self-pubbing it or submitting to another market. Each is a valid response. Only the individual writer can answer that for themselves.

Don't know what you mean by "veiled threat," Jed. Hope it was nothing I said.

125 views & only 2 writers have responded.

Thank you, I. J., your post was on subject and helpful.

David, I was very disappointed; I'm sure Dean would be too.

Of course not, Jack.  You'd never do anything like that.  But writers can and do silence themselves apparently.

Best, Jed

I'm a few of those views. I've been following the conversation but I didn't really have anything to add. And maybe what I have to say now is useless, but...

Spinetingler is a free online magazine, isn't it? Maybe they make a few bucks out of ads but no one involved gets paid do they? My understanding was that they had spent a fair amount of time working with some writers in the past who then pulled their stories at the last minute in favour of some other publication and because Spinetingler is a volunteer effort they didn't want that to happen again.

It doesn't seem like a big deal to me, Spinetingler lays out their terms, you either accept them or you don't.

My problem is Jack doesn't like my writing style and turned down my stories... ;)


Ha. That'll be the day I get to see one of your short stories. 


They are online?  Whole different ballgame.

Sorry to hear you were disappointed in me, Jed, and I have to say, I'm not sure why....but

John, below said much more succinctly than I, what I tried to say. "Spinetingler lays out their terms, you either accept them or you don't."That's all a writer can do, except today, a writers got more options than they had in the past.

John & David remind me of the guy who once told me (in my thirties) "If you don't like minimum wage, get lost and try down the street."  In the case we're discussing, it shows that money is not the only club that publications can hold over writers heads, nor the most powerful.  

I'll be staying off the site for a few days absorbing the shock knowing that some writers either don't realize or don't care that it is us agains them.  On the other hand, I shouldn't be surprised, that is the way it is in most fields in America today.  I guess my idealistic vision of writers is naive.

Beam me up, Scotty.  No backbone here. 

It's not us against them. They are us. Maybe if you knew who was running Spinetingler, or cared, it would make a difference. And not just Spinetingler, over the past five or six years there have been many online magazines, from the flash sites like Powder Burn Flash to Demolition Magazine, Thrilling Detective, Thuglit, and so on. They aren't businesses, they're labours of love. When this kind of thing was printed we called it a fanzine. No one makes any money from these.

We're not talking about some multi-national here.


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