An Open Letter to Duotrope Users

Pile of envelopes

Pile of envelopes

You’re worth it.

This morning, Duotrope – a site many of you use to research and manage submissions – announced it will begin requiring you to pay a fee of $5/month (or $50/year) on January 1, 2013.

For some of you, we know $5 a month isn’t a big deal. Maybe you’ll bring your lunch one day instead of buying it, refrain from picking up that extra pack of cigarettes or simply accept that there’ll be $5 less each month in your bank account.

For others, we know that poems don’t pay the bills. You might already be pinching pennies to make sure you can put food in your family’s mouth and that the electricity company won’t turn off your lights again next month.

Regardless of what $5 means to you, we know being a writer already requires great sacrifices. It might mean staying in when others are going out. It might mean spending hours away from your family. It might mean sacrificing your otherwise good spirits when the rejection letters roll in.

So here’s what $5 means to us.

If,  instead, we pay Duotrope $5 per month, we get connected to you. When we launched over a year ago, we had no budget and few contacts in the literary world. Consequently, we depended heavily on Duotrope to send new poets our way. Without this initial exposure, we would not have built our submission base to what it is today and missed out on publishing some really great pieces.

That montly sum also gives us the opportunity to market our journal without investing hundreds or thousands of dollars in traditional advertising, or equal hours in staff time. This is significant because we have no budget – everything that’s done is done out of the pockets of our editors or through special fundraising campaigns like this year’s Kickstarter project.

Literary journals and magazines cannot be successful unless editors make appropriate investments for their publications. We’ll say it again: Literary journals and magazines cannot be successful unless editors make appropriate investments for their publications.

We think you’re worth the investment.

That is why we’re respectfully asking Duotrope to consider asking literary journals – and not you – to shoulder its monthly costs.

Please take the time to read and sign our petition, then share the link with your fellow writers and your social networks.

Sign the Petition

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