A writer friend of mine insists that the restrictions placed on membership by professional genre fiction writing organizations and conventions are there because it assures the writers applying for membership have been properly vetted.
The term means that a writer’s work has been confirmed as accurate, that agents have screened it and editors have honed it. Of course, my friend is ignoring the obvious – no writer is properly vetted anymore. The big publishers refuse to pay for it and the small ones never could afford it. James Frey and Margaret Selzer are just two recent examples of writers published by major publishing houses who were exposed as frauds. Sadly, this lack of real vetting applies to journalism as well.
How does all this happen?
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