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.
I certainly don't want to pour gas on a fire that's dying out. :)
I have to generally just say that it's not appropriate for us to consider donations and submissions simultaneously.
I feel bad to have left Jack in the weeds out here on his own, but I've spent the last few days sick on the couch, and have come to this late. I thank those who've engaged in the conversation, on both sides of the coin.
As the original face of Spinetingler, I'm the most aware of all the issues that have gone into each decision along the way. The learning curve has been enormous. Very early on, we were threatened with a lawsuit. However, we'd had a version of that release in use, and had it for the story in question, and the other publication (in Australia, if memory serves) backed off from coming after us. Basically, the writer thought they could sell first worldwide rights in two parts of the world and nobody would find out.
Now, I developed the release based off of other releases I'd seen. We used to read submissions that didn't have the release; however, we learned that some of those writers felt that meant they weren't beholden to the terms of submission, and in some cases when we asked for the release to publish them, either never got any response, or they pulled the submission.
I'm a writer. Jack's a writer. We know the challenges writers face. However, I'm keenly aware that every writer who wastes an editor's time is limiting that editor's time to look at my submission, or get back to me faster. Some editors are assholes. Some are unprofessional.
And some writers are unprofessional, too.
Yeah, I've got a small $h!t list. That first writer who almost got us sued is on it. A writer who, after their story was accepted - officially - and went through edits with Jack at length, who then, only a short time before scheduled publication, pulled their story, saying they were going to enter it in a contest. They accepted their acceptance, they worked with Jack at length, they abused his time and took his insights and editorial feedback and then walked.
The only people who are on that list are people who have put me in legal hot water or significantly wasted my time, or the time of someone else on the team. To be clear: nobody in this discussion. In fact, I'd have to dig very deep to even remember the name of the guy who almost got us sued. Writers are really free to express their opinion and say what they want. And absolutely, if they don't like our terms, we're okay with that - they can go elsewhere. Not a problem. I much prefer people discuss the issue on venues like this than e-mail me and try to argue directly with me about it. (Nobody here did - I'm just saying, people have argued over rejections and all manner of stuff in the past. I started off believing we'd be so understanding of writers and their concerns. I soon realized why some editors were so frustrated sometimes.)
I think the 15 month window in the release may not really be applicable now. Spinetingler started back in 2005. Before e-books and KDP and Smashwords started changing the game. An anthology back then meant pulling stories and printing the anthology through a self-publishing venue, so it was more time-consuming. The anthology Spinetingler did that way was held under my ex-husband in our divorce, and I don't believe it's for sale anymore.
It may be appropriate for us to reconsider that time-frame wording in the release.
That, of course, assumes we ever get control of our site back, since it was hacked a few days ago.
Dear Ms. Ruttan,
OK, makes sense. Still, I wouldn't want all publications to adopt the release with submission policy.
As Jack suggested, I'll submit a story when Spinetingler site is up and working. If story is rejected I will make a donation then, but not until Jack or you say it is appropriate.
I hope you feel better.
I've found Spinetingler a little slow, but I've found other publications to be non-responsive, so I'm okay with slow. I've been submitting stories to them for years and am thrilled to finally have one accepted. Hoping it will come out soon. :-)
You're up next!