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Thread: Middle Grade Writers Association

  1. #1
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    Angry Middle Grade Writers Association

    Caught wind of a group discussion on Twitter and Facebook wherein a reviewer/editor(?) responds to an author's request for a review on his/her self-published book. Not even sure anymore if it can be considered a review, as you'll see, he personally attacks the author's ability to write.

    "[]...​You're an embarrassment who deserves to fail. You should fail. Your work should not clutter up a server, and you definitely don't deserve any money for what you've written. I'm posting this response in my Facebook group to make this point. I'll extend you the courtesy of not revealing who you are--as if it would matter.How dare you think you're good enough? What dues have you paid? What makes you think for one minute you deserve to be called an author of middle grade literature? Go write YA. Go write adult fiction. Better yet, go write erotica, and stay away from the little human beings experiencing the golden age of reading...[ ]."

    Link: https://m.facebook.com/groups/midgra...2842939582109/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jessie_Devine/st...90869581598720

    I am beside myself. The theme of the week from self proclaimed professionals seems to be that of haughtiness. As some of you might have caught wind, there was a new agent a couple of days ago who told writers they shouldn't bother to query her if they expected to make her wait when she offers. What's going on?

    What are your thoughts, AW? Does this "reviewer" have any merit?



    Last edited by DanielaTorre; 07-16-2015 at 07:09 AM.


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  2. #2
    Aspiring supervillain Pony.'s Avatar
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    Seems a bit of a dick,to me. And not in the Brit sense.


  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW heza's Avatar
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    Both your links take me to Twitter, Dani.

    ETA: But then I remembered that I know how to Copy&Paste, lol. But then Facebook wanted me to login. Shutup, Facebook!


    E(again)TA: I should probably talk about the topic.

    I think this editor is really over the top. I can understand an editor being really upset about someone butchering the institution of authorship, or whatever, and getting verbal... on the other hand, though, I really don't think one person has the right to tell someone else whether they should or shouldn't be allowed to write a book or whether other people have the right to give them money for it.
    Last edited by heza; 07-16-2015 at 12:35 AM.
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  4. #4
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    Fixed!!!! The whole review is the first with the Hulk photo.

    I had to scoop my jaw off the floor when I saw it.


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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW Usher's Avatar
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    No. I refuse to query to agents who do not respond with at least a standard no and I would not be selecting him as my editor.

    There does seem to be a culture in which some agents, editors, publishers etc seem to forget that without writers they have no job. Not all are like that but as a writer I've selected an editor for my self publishing and will sub my next book to a short list of agents.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DanielaTorre View Post
    I am beside myself.
    Surprised anyone is.

    That garbage is so cartoonish it's impossible for me to take it seriously. If someone said that to me I'd laugh in their face.

    Pretty weak insult, all things considered. It's nowhere near funny enough to be a successful member of the "witty acidic rant" category.

    "stay away from the little human beings experiencing the golden age of reading"

    looool. That's top-grade r/iamverysmart material.
    Last edited by SomethingOrOther; 07-16-2015 at 12:44 AM.

  7. #7
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usher View Post
    No. I refuse to query to agents who do not respond with at least a standard no and I would not be selecting him as my editor.

    There does seem to be a culture in which some agents, editors, publishers etc seem to forget that without writers they have no job. Not all are like that but as a writer I've selected an editor for my self publishing and will sub my next book to a short list of agents.

    While I get your frustration (been there), how can you know whether they'll respond to you if you don't query them? If they have a policy wherein "no reply means no", then it's still an answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by SomethingOrOther View Post
    Surprised anyone is.

    That garbage is so cartoonish it's impossible for me to take it seriously. If someone said that to me I'd laugh in their face.

    Pretty weak insult, all things considered. It's nowhere near funny enough to be a successful member of the "witty acidic rant" category.

    "stay away from the little human beings experiencing the golden age of reading"

    looool. That's top-grade r/iamverysmart material.

    It isn't terribly hard to be polite. He could have easily said, "Your writing needs a lot of work. I'd consider removing it from Amazon and editing it thoroughly." Strong and to the point.


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  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW buzhidao's Avatar
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    Sounds like someone got his dick caught in the garage door

    This is what happens when you work on your Vespa naked

  9. #9
    Livin' la vida biblia ASeiple's Avatar
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    Wow.

    That's, ah... pretty horrible.

    Someone thinks they're the Simon Cowell of the publishing world.

    Someone's in for a surprise, one of these days. Humility's a virtue for a reason.

  10. #10
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    I feel this person is deliberately trolling, and I have no patience with people who instigate flame wars. This guy clearly wants the attention. We're giving it and offering vitriol another platform. Mission accomplished.

    I just wish these sort of assholes stayed out of publishing. Too many piss-babies taking up oxygen in the field already.
    Last edited by Vegetarian Cannibal; 07-16-2015 at 01:15 AM. Reason: Accidentally duplicated my post?

  11. #11
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    The only good thing this person did was omit the author's name. I wonder if he truly did it to spare the author public humiliation, or merely to give himself the liberty to speak and seem like a troll rather than a bully had he personally named-names.
    Last edited by DanielaTorre; 07-16-2015 at 01:16 AM.


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  12. #12
    Hopelessly Hopeful Tromboli's Avatar
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    Little more info on this guys: he's a self proclaimed failed self published author (he says this in one of his posts on facebook), a reviewer and apparently a small press editor (though I don't know where). This isn't a big name editor with a complex. He does think he knows it all though, he just doesn't have anything to back it up.
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  13. #13
    Hopelessly Hopeful Tromboli's Avatar
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    He started a "Middle Grade Writer's Association" as his outlet. He's finding innocent aspiring writers to harass. Troll or not he already has his platform so I doubt this thread will change much.
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  14. #14
    is watching you via her avatar jjdebenedictis's Avatar
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    The person is a jackhole.

    Whether the book is that bad is irrelevant. Who elected this jerk supreme arbiter of taste? What gives them the right to try to shame other people out of following their dreams?

    This is the kind of petty jerk who gets their jollies off the teeny power rush they get from thinking they can make someone give up. And they're probably doing it to distract themselves from how unimpressive their own life is.
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  15. #15
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tromboli View Post
    Little more info on this guys: he's a self proclaimed failed self published author (he says this in one of his posts on facebook), a reviewer and apparently a small press editor (though I don't know where). This isn't a big name editor with a complex. He does think he knows it all though, he just doesn't have anything to back it up.
    PLOT TWIST: He's berating his own book.



    Which brings me to the question: Where do we draw the line between heckler, bully, and troll?


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tromboli View Post
    He started a "Middle Grade Writer's Association" as his outlet. He's finding innocent aspiring writers to harass. Troll or not he already has his platform so I doubt this thread will change much.
    If he's using his Middle Grade Association to abuse people, that's sociopathic behavior. I wonder if those in his group know? Should this thread be moved to "Beware and Background Check"?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Tromboli View Post
    He started a "Middle Grade Writer's Association" as his outlet. He's finding innocent aspiring writers to harass. Troll or not he already has his platform so I doubt this thread will change much.
    If he's using his Middle Grade Association to abuse people, that's sociopathic behavior. I wonder if those in his group know? Should this thread be moved to "Beware and Background Check"?

  17. #17
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    This is an odd rant. Sounds like the editor has a bit of an axe to grind with the trade publishing world, as well:

    Y'all haven't even warranted a traditional publishing contract--which these days are garbage. Where are all the cowboys, huh? Where is the Indian warrior? Where are the true middle grade artists who would spit on Simon and Schuster? Where are the middle grade priests who will go to school, learn their trade, learn to publish, and go their own way? Good God, how I'm holding out for that kind of hero!
    But the main reason it seems odd to me is that anyone who writes book reviews receives dozens and dozens and dozens of poorly written and edited self-published books (along with the occasional good one). Like an agent, you send off polite form rejections and forget about them. You learn to protect yourself and NOT read enough of the sample to let it anger up your blood.

    No way for us to tell why this particular book provoked such a vituperative response. Or perhaps the response reflects the cumulative effect of receiving all those bad books. Or, as suggested, this is some form of trolling (and it worked!).

    I have to say, I'm always a touch miffed when editors hand out the advice to get an MFA or stop calling yourself a writer. MFA programs are wonderful, but there are many paths to great prose and storytelling, and not all of them come with shiny credentials. Some of us just don't feel like getting one more freaking degree, or can't afford it, or don't have time. As an editor, it's certainly your right to decide that an MFA is a prerequisite for consideration by your journal or imprint, but please don't berate those who have dared to get themselves published without one.
    Last edited by Fuchsia Groan; 07-16-2015 at 01:33 AM.
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  18. #18
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomethingOrOther View Post
    "stay away from the little human beings experiencing the golden age of reading"

    Ye shall never reachest the great heighened peaks of literary merit belonging to those who are captains that wear underpants!

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW
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    Closing for review.

    ETA: And, moving to Bewares, Recommendations, and Background Check.
    Last edited by Kylabelle; 07-16-2015 at 05:22 AM.

  20. #20
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielaTorre View Post
    PLOT TWIST: He's berating his own book.



    Which brings me to the question: Where do we draw the line between heckler, bully, and troll?
    Ah! So it's a promotional stunt. Meant to get folks to check it out? Or check out his group/company?

    I saw this earlier in one of the book promotion groups on FB and I was puzzled because it didn't seem to be the usual "Only $0.99 for this epic trilogy!" adverting that usually occurs there. Now it's beginning to make more sense. Sort of.
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  21. #21
    Pedaling Pescado Bicyclefish's Avatar
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    I wouldn't take the reviewer seriously. The Facebook page was created in late May of this year as was the group's domain name. Anyone can make an organization, create a website, convince some folk to join, and name themselves president. According to his own GoodReads profile:

    By day, I'm a psychiatric registered nurse. By night, I'm a literary critic for middle grade fiction.
    I can't find any relevant editing experience, more than a handful of book reviews, and the organization plans to review members' books for a "Not right now, but eventually" $100 fee.
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  22. #22
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    I went through the FB feed earlier. Initially, it started off quite welcoming to the MG community. As it went on, it started becoming Marxist in view, shutting out members this person didn't deem "worthy".

    "... you'll notice the author page has changed. It [sic] not strictly for those authors deemed "historic" authors of mid-grade literature. All others have been removed...."

    And when people try to speak up:

    "... I am struggling with just who MGWA is for. As I have received literally 0 help from any of the members..."

    And my favorite:

    "... The "Author Page" is a good example. It may look great to be on the same page as Neil Gaiman and JK Rowling, but Neil Gaiman and JK Rowling don't deserve to be on that page next to other writers who have done very little for the art form, do they?..."

    Looks like someone finally called him out on his own discussion on Facebook. Good on her.



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  23. #23
    Named For a Song... Angela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzhidao View Post
    Sounds like someone got his dick caught in the garage door

    This is what happens when you work on your Vespa naked
    Um, well gee. I guess that's one way of looking at it. As some of us say 'round here...That there's funny right there.

    Seriously, this guy is an idiot, a jerk, and some other things I won't say because this isn't an NC-17 forum. He does mention that he published some books before and didn't do well. I can't say for certain, but it seems like he self-published those books, based on his comments. He said he folded on the first one, and then he didn't do well on the others (can't remember how many he said) and gave up because he realized he couldn't write fiction. I have to wonder if it's sour grapes. He kept telling some of the indie-published authors in the group that if they were worthy of being published, the agents would be falling all over themselves to snatch up those authors. He refuses to believe that any author worthy of publication would CHOOSE to be self-published.

    When people requested that he remove them from the group, he told them all they had to do was leave the group and not ask him to do any more for them than he's already done for them. I'm still trying to figure out what he's done for them.

    And where does he get off saying all authors had to have an MFA??

    All in all, I think he's got some issues to put it mildly.
    Last edited by Angela; 07-16-2015 at 08:54 AM. Reason: A wee issue.
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  24. #24
    Pedaling Pescado Bicyclefish's Avatar
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    I utilized my Google Fu in a search for relevant credentials, but I think I tumbled down the rabbit hole. Come join me.

    I located a Smashwords page with the same profile photo as the Facebook page. From there I found an Amazon page with the same bio and mention of Black Spirit Publishing, which appears to be the self publishing company for his book. That photo then led to a Twitter account where he posted about being was banned from... *drumroll*... Absolute Write in March of 2011, perhaps because of this thread.

    Thus we have come full circle.
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  25. #25
    Just visiting Samsonet's Avatar
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    I do find his genre of choice to be kind of ironic, considering how many MG books have a theme of standing up to bullies...
    i see you,
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