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Thread: Edit Red

  1. #1
    No Time For Chitchat, Kemosabe. badducky's Avatar
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    Edit Red

    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...ndid=172895863

    i got a friend req on myspace from these folks. hm... free prize money for nothing and apparently they pitch to 'zines and magazines?

    huh. that doesn't make sense to me at all on two fronts. firstly, where does this free prize money come from? secondly, where (and why?) exactly do they pitch flash fiction and how successful are they at it?

    i admit that i'm very skeptical, and the 734 friends they have increases my concern.

    i've invited them over for a chat. we'll see if they show up. if i hear back from them, i'll post it.

    i've messaged them to see exactly how this otherwise nonsensical operation stays afloat. if this is legit, it might be a great new market for flash fiction. if it's not, then we should know about it.

    if i hear nothing back, naturally i assume the worst.

  2. #2
    "I catch bird!" SuperModerator alleycat's Avatar
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    It looks like this is mostly just a way to promote their web services for writers; you sign up for free, later you're given "the opportunity" to upgrade for a fee. I'm guessing a little because I didn't look all around their main webpage. The prize money they're offering isn't going to break their bank (unless they have a really small bank). The contest is probably legit for what it is.
    Last edited by alleycat; 04-04-2007 at 02:33 PM.

  3. #3
    I record everything. The_Grand_Duchess's Avatar
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    I've been 'approched' by these people as well. They friend request everyone that they can in writing groups. I went to thier site sometime ago. In order to enter the contest you have to be a member and if I remember correctly you have to pay to become a member. In anycase it seems to be a way to promote thier writing services. Also If I remember correctly they're based in Sweden or something.

    ETA: Just went back over to the site and it is free but still you must be a member to submit and it seems to be just another work sharing board.
    Last edited by The_Grand_Duchess; 04-05-2007 at 07:19 PM. Reason: re looked at the website

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  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    A friendly writer emails me:

    A look at the terms of service on their website--http://www.editred.com/terms2.php--seems to reveal that *they* own all intellectual property posted on their site, including story
    copyrights:
    "Intellectual Property Content on this site and all intellectual
    property rights (including, without limitation, domain names, trade marks,
    copyright in the stories, copyright in the website design and copyright in the
    images and graphics.) associated with such content belong to and shall remain the property of editred.com and its licensors."
    Do you want to give away your copyright?

  5. #5
    No Time For Chitchat, Kemosabe. badducky's Avatar
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    Here's what I heard from them this morning:

    In brief here, while any writer can submit, we try to use our connections to bring high quality submissions to known contacts. This is a new thing for us, something that we have tried before and hope to develop, the idea is to serve the publication as much as the journal and is explained a little more here. It is great you make your living as a writer, you will then know that just because a writer can send a submission with an attachment, it doesn't mean their work will always be fairly judged, the lead times editors generally have to work with does not always allow for that.

    Edit RED has been going 4 years, though we used to be called Spoiled Ink, you would only have to look at the site and speak to some of the members to see that we are legit. Our site offers a great free membership, but also offers 2 paying packages and also has google adsense in various sections, that is where our prize money comes from.
    He promised to show up and talk to us, and I gave him the link.
    Last edited by badducky; 04-08-2007 at 03:55 PM.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    apologies for the length of the reply

    Wow, I feel like I am going to be a long time answering this one.

    I am going to mix up the order of the answers a bit here, as I feel some factually incorrect comments need addressing first.

    Our terms and conditions clearly state that copyright of the work remains with the author. On every page containing work posted by one of our members, this is again stated at the bottom of the page. May I say again. at the bottom of every page of member content, it states that the author owns the rights. We are a very open group, if you have suggestions for other places to display this, we would love to hear from you. However, up until now, the bottom of every member content page and the terms has been enough.

    Now, about the flash competition. We run regular competitions, mostly bi monthly. The previous one was poetry. As we have run our community for years we have some knowledge of what new and up and coming writers want. We learn more everyday, but feel we have some knowledge. One thing we are aware of is that new writers often find submitting their writing, in the early days, a bit of a hurdle. This has been the feedback we have received. Other feedback we have received is that what our members, many of whom are up and coming and very talented, want the most from a writing community is publishing opportunities. We happen to think they are right, publishing credits, in our humble opinion, will help, rather than work against, capturing the interest of a prospective agent. So we (Alan Emmins, Chris Ramsden & Sean Merrigan, the EditRED founders) sat down and wondered what we could do, if anything, to bridge this gap. We certainly don't have time to field submissions for a publication and I can't imagine any publication wanting to hand over such a job, their selection speaks about who they are and what they do. At the same time, we ran a zine for 4 years. We published our first hardcopy anthology last year. We know something about handling submissions too.

    During this thought process it occurred to us, through our last competition, that we actually read a huge amount of submissions. For the poetry competition we read 500 poems, produced a short list of ten and then awarded $100 to the overall winner. We sat there feeling it was a shame there was no reward for the other 9 writers on the short list. This married perfectly with our idea about helping our members actually get published. So we emailed the 10 short listed writers and asked them how they would feel about us pitching their poems, promoted as the best of a batch of 500, to zines and journals that we have known and enjoyed in the past, or new ones that we thought looked like they could really stand out, or whose editors we knew. EVERY single writer came back (all were previously published) saying they thought it was a great idea, they supported it, welcomed it and encouraged it. We then approached, as a trial, a new journal called 34th Parallel, that we had already been talking to about announcing them in our forum. We had known the founders of this journal for more than 12 months. We asked them how they would feel about looking at the short list, they said yes, we mailed the poems and that journal, 5 days later, mailed us back selecting 7 poems. I then had the pleasure of emailing the selected poets. In my email I shared the good news and gave them the email address of the editor they should now contact. That was it, I had no more to do with it. We were very happy. The selected writers were very happy. The journal was very happy. As a parting note to this particular experience, over 50% of the poets we pitched were not paying members of EditRED.

    Based on this success, we would like to do this with all our competitions. We are reading the content anyway, so if we can pull out the top pieces and help get them published, great. We decided to give this idea a name, 'Edit Rep'. In the about us section on our site it says, 'it's early days for Edit Rep...'. It is. This is something we are trying. We hope to place work. The idea is that eventually we will have a list of maybe 20 zines and publications, who we will list as part of the program, who will look at our short lists and consider them for publication. When talking to publications we are pointing out that we are reading a lot of content to pull our the top percentage, this is a huge saving on time. Having once edited a zine for 3 years, I know the value of this.

    We do use MySpace to promote our site, like 1000's of others. We send friend requests to writers who might be interested in our site as a member or who might be able to offer valuable feedback. We also use myspace to promote individual competitions.

    Our site has a free membership that allows members to interact with other writers, enter competitions, submit to our books, post their work AND RETAIN ALL RIGHTS TO THEIR WORK. It is true there are upgraded packages that offer extra features, these packages that bring income to our site are where the money comes from to pay programmers, publish a yearly anthology AND run competitions, as opposed to 'thin air'. That said, a $100 prize, being so little, hardly draws suspicion.

    The people behind EditRED, myself, Alan Emmins, Chris Ramsden and Sean Merrigan all have backgrounds in writing. Our bios are easily available on EditRED. You may want to know what we know about submitting for publication? I have been a freelance journalist for 8 years, this is how I make my living. I have written for the New York Post, Stern, Daily News, Playboy, Politiken (yes we are based in Denmark, though of English nationality) and my books are published traditionally in Japan and the UK. I have submitted a few things over the years.

    All of this information is easily available and has always been, on EditRED.com.

    As a parting comment I want to say that a forum like this one here holds incredible value. It also holds incredible responsibility. I feel you owe it not only to those that read and those who partake in this forum, but to those who find themselves as your subjects, to be fair and factual. Posting assumptions without taking a minute to see if your assumptions have any grounds, for me, dilutes what should be a credible and valuable forum. It would have taken little more time to look at our site, google it, browse the posts in the our forum for validity, than it took to start this thread. But to actually go to our site, skim it and then report incorrectly that we (in secret) retain the rights to work posted or entered into a competition is wholly irresponsible.

    I love the web, I love it as an open source of information. I know I will regret this reply for how personally I taken the above posts. But it is impossible no to take things personally. EditRED takes up most of my time, as it does for Chris and Sean. None of us have ever taken a cent for ourselves. Every penny goes back into the site. Sure, one day we would love to take a salary, so that we could invest even more time into it and really push the bounds of what an on-line community can do for writers. There is only one reason we are still here, with no financial reward, several years down the line.

    If anybody needs wants any more validation, I would suggest speaking to the members, they are the best judges. If you want to post more questions here, or email me directly ( alan 'AT' editred.com ) I will not only answer as best I can, I promise to take a deep breath and not take things so personally.

    Kind Regards
    Alan Emmins

    http://www.editred.com/Alan_Emmins
    http://www.myspace.com/emmins
    http://www.alanemmins.com

  7. #7
    No Time For Chitchat, Kemosabe. badducky's Avatar
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    From what I can see on the terms, it looks like you guys retain the rights to anything published on the site for one month. Thus, you have to give notice to pull something down a month in advance, right?

    How does this address any magazines' preference for first publication rights?

    It looks like - if I'm reading your terms correctly - that anything posted to the site suddenly falls into the reprints category if someone attempts to sell that work elsewhere.

    Am I misreading your terms?

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    If we 'publish' the work we do not own the work, the work is licensed to us, meaning we get permission to publish it, and as with our books we ask that the work be previously unpublished, the rights we seek are 'first publication rights'. Am I mistaken in believing this is normal? I have worked with this for years with publications that pay me for my work, permission has to be granted, and as a writer, on these rights, you are also stating that the work is previously unpublished. That said, we only want those rights if we publish the work, but you need to know that on submission. If we do select your work, you will get a contract, which is a standard publishing contract, which also states the royalty for said publication.

    With regard to members 'posting' their work, we do not consider this a published work. We are not publishing it. The author posts it and sets the access level. Competitions likewise, we do not take the work and publish it ourselves, we simply award the prize and as of now, try to help place the work if that writer would like us to.

    We recommend our writers set their work to 'reader list' only, meaning only their selected reader group, that they select and use for feedback and critiques, can read the work. The writers control what they post, they can edit and delete, live, themselves. As soon as they press 'delete' the story is deleted from the database, it no longer exists. If they have a work that has been published elsewhere, we provide a function for them to link directly to that work, where it was originally published, instead of posting it. This gives recognition to the publication.

    The monthly issue, about taking stuff down and wanting a months notice, in error on our part, refers to the zine section of the site that is actually off line and no-more. Basically we ran a monthly zine publishing short fiction, reviews and interviews. In the zine we published previously unpublished work, by granting 'first publication rights' the writer was saying 'yes, you may publish my previously unpublished work'. We took the zine down just a few weeks ago. We felt, if we wanted to play a role and develop relationships between editors and writers, that a zine of our own would be in conflict. We decided after much thought and research to close the zine. But still we never, and nor do the terms say so, 'own the rights', in fact what the terms refer to are here 'non exclusive rights'. We wouldn't publish anything without permission, so by submitting you agree that if we select the story we can have permission to publish and that you have the permission to give, meaning you own the work you submitted.

    Still, first publication rights stand on 'published' works, otherwise all those writers in our anthology, if they were so minded, could now claim we published their work without permission. They are free to publish reprints, just as long as we have first publication rights. If that is a problem for any writer, they simply don't sign the contract asking for the rights and we don't publish the work.

    It does say in the terms that any work posted on profiles by users is NOT published by EditRED. We don't want any rights to posted work and we don't ask for any, anywhere.
    Last edited by A Emmins; 04-09-2007 at 02:28 AM.

  9. #9
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    A Emmins says:

    We are a very open group, if you have suggestions for other places to display this, we would love to hear from you. However, up until now, the bottom of every member content page and the terms has been enough.

    Perhaps you may want to amend this language:

    Intellectual Property Content on this site and all intellectual property rights (including, without limitation, domain names, trade marks, copyright in the stories, copyright in the website design and copyright in the images and graphics.) associated with such content belong to and shall remain the property of editred.com and its licensors.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Perhaps you may want to amend this language:
    Although that passage is taken from a section referring to our intellectual properties, meaning our/EditREd's texts, site design, images etc etc I can see, especially when isolated, that it could be clearer and will have it looked at ASAP.

    Alan

  11. #11
    figuring it all out below's Avatar
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    Thumbs down But it does seem clear:

    Intellectual Property Content on this site and all intellectual property rights (including, without limitation, domain names, trade marks, copyright in the stories, copyright in the website design and copyright in the images and graphics.) associated with such content belong to and shall remain the property of editred.com and its licensors.
    Emphasis mine.

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    There is an entire section about copyright for submitted/posted work. The answers for that stuff are in their own section. The passage above in from a section dealing with content created by Edit Red. Read within context, that is pretty clear, though as I have stated, I have no issues with making it clearer.

    We don't want any copyright from people submitting, I don't know what we would do with it. All we want is that those that want us to publish their work, in our books, give us permission to do so.

  13. #13
    AW's Resident Commie bsolah's Avatar
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    Is this legit?

    I just got an invitation via myspace to join this website and submit a piece of flash fiction for the 'City Smells' anthology.

    Link: http://www.editred.com/

    I had a look and part of me gained an impression that something was suspect. I'd greatly appreciate anyone's knowledge.

  14. #14
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    I know nothing about this stuff, except what I saw on your link. Maybe all MySpace stuff is like this, I have no interest in that social-networking stuff, but it seems like an ad for something. It's like a brochure with the prices left off. Very general, very vague, but vaguely selling. If those little blurbs with the photos aren't Sworn Testimonials by Real, Live Customers, they are certainly written that way. Hopefully someone will come by with actual knowledge.

  15. #15
    He ain't right... dub's Avatar
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    Edit Red is a Danish publisher. I signed up using a pseudonym email, it appears that the addy will begin getting a newsletter. The terms are very convoluted in discussing privacy of email and information. Also, it appears that the group is attempting to aggregate submissions for "books." Does this smell of poetry.com or what? I could be wrong about their purpose but I did not see this a trustworthy outlet.

    They advertise editorial help and critique and all the usual claims of a writer's website. I saw nothing that spoke of publishing, except in thier books.

    Look for yourself, but that was my opinion of what I saw. This thread may have to be moved to "bewares" in the future.
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  16. #16
    AW's Resident Commie bsolah's Avatar
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    Yeah, it just had the feeling of those scam poetry websites that set off alarm bells within me. For the record, this is what the comment on my MySpace read:
    Hi again, I just wanted to let you know we are looking for writers for our new book project.

    'City Smells' is a new literary project set up by the Edit Red Writing Community.

    We are running three writing competitions, Flash Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry, all with the theme 'City Smells. The winners of each of these competitions will win $100. But more than this, we will take the best work from each competition and compile a paperback 'City Smells' anthology. The writers who make it into the 'City Smells' anthology will each receive free copies of the book and be paid a royalty in book sales.

    To submit to these competition and stand a chance of being published in the 'City Smells' book you must be a member of Edit Red, as the submission process is automated. Joining Edit Red and entering these competitions is 100% free. If you make it into the book, we will pay royalties based on book sales.

    Edit Red has existed for many years and was created and is still managed today by non-fiction author Alan Emmins, creative writing teacher Chris Lee Ramsden and literary reviewer Sean Merrigan.

    If you are not already a member, we hope you will join and take part in this great literary event. Visit editred.com for free membership and free entry.

    Regards
    Alan, Sean and Chris

  17. #17
    The mean one AW Moderator Cath's Avatar
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    I got the same message and put them down as either clueless or a scam. I figure anyone legit wouldn't solicit me for my work - especially since they've never read it.
    Cath
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  18. #18
    AW's Resident Commie bsolah's Avatar
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    That's a good point, considering how many writers are out there looking to get published. I guess I'll just ignore it and get to work on real submissions.

  19. #19
    Fearsome Dragon Mod AW Moderator jvc's Avatar
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    It does look a litte iffy. From what I can gather they want you to sign up to become a member, and although the basic membership is free, if you want all the benefits you will have to pay them for an advanced membership.

    They seem to also make money by putting google adds on the pages, so I would imagine that if you had a basic membership, they are going to stick a few google adds on each of the pages and make money out that.
    Last edited by jvc; 05-07-2007 at 10:14 PM.
    Jed.

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  20. #20
    It's a doggy dog world benbradley's Avatar
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    Shouldn't this be moved to the "Bewares and Background Check" forum?

    I googled the domain name and found lots of references, but no one ragging against it (yet) in the first page or two of results. I mostly found stuff like this, smeone who apparently just joined as of this blog entry a couple of months ago - maybe you can ask how it's going:
    http://www.danieldarwell.com/blog/in...on-editredcom/
    and this press release/blurb that sounds similar to the stuff I've read from PublishAmerica "Online Writing Communities Challenge Traditional Publishing":
    http://express-press-release.com/32/...w%20Trends.php
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  21. #21
    Fearsome Dragon Mod AW Moderator jvc's Avatar
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    Ben you're right, I've moved it over.
    Jed.

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  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW
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    edit red sponsors the Story South million writers contest.

    http://www.storysouth.com/millionwri...sinfo2007.html

    I've seen their requests for submissions for their site. I'm still leary of them, but I haven't seen anything blatant.

  23. #23
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    (threads merged; rendered redundant)
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 05-21-2007 at 09:28 PM. Reason: circular link
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  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Wow, I haven't stopped by here for a long time, maybe I should have, maybe not. I really don't know what to say to you guys. If you google us the only negative thing you will find is this thread.

    We publish yearly anthologies, we do not ask writers to buy copies, we pay them. Not a lot, anthologies are a hard sell. Their also lots of work, but we enjoy it. Even with anthologies we do not take/own any rights. But we do get NON-exclusive publication rights. This means a: we want to publish previously unpublished work. We pay for the book and the graphic designers, we get to decide if we want to publish fresh or old work. We chose fresh. B: After we have published, the writer can republish that piece of work should they wish or have the opportunity to. The key thing here is this, if a writer doesn't like the fact that we want fresh, previously unpublished work, this is easily navigated by NOT submitting. That said, you'll have a hard time getting published in anything worthwhile without accepting that publishers want to publish fresh, unpublished work. So where is the scam there?

    Since this thread started and after following it at the beginning, we did re-write the terms to make them abundantly clear, even to those that seem to WANT us to be a scam. We are so not interested in owning any rights to any stories posted or submitted by our members. I don't know how to make this any clearer, here or on our site.

    Yes, we do have paying memberships on EditRED. But they are totally unnecessary, in that, you can post stories, talk to writers, take part on the forum, give and receive critiques, use the directory all for free. If one of the paying packages has something of interest you have the option to upgrade, you ALWAYS have the option to not upgrade. Again, where is the scam?

    Yes we use MySpace and invite writers to visit, join, and submit to our books. It's not rocket science, the more members we have the better we can make the site. Today every penny of revenue produced by EditRED has gone back into the site. If you had any idea the hard work and financial strain that goes into producing a site like EditRED, well, you'd wonder why we bother. But we do because we are writers ourselves, we believe in the site and love what we do.

    Our competitions... well, we think competitions can be fun. People enter, somebody wins and gets some prize money. We also decided to compile the comps into anthologies that we pay for and give for free to those published within. The winners of last years $300 Editor's Choice Award are available on EditRED AND Myspace... if you really want to find out if we are a scam email them and ask them what they did to enter and if they got paid. You will find them at the following link, click through to their profiles and you will find links to their myspace profiles: http://www.editred.com/2006_editors_choice_awards.php

    I really don't know what else to say. We have a busy writing site full of people who love the site. Some people join and find out the site is not for them, they generally leave with little hoohah. We don't shackle them or ridicule them. We certainly own any rights to any of their stories.

    You don't have to like the site of course. But all this scam talk amazes me when it is so easy to check. We wouldn't have the members we have if we scammed. You'd find threads about the scams all over google if they existed. Aside from this there are thousands of members you can ask, most of them link from their Edit RED profiles to their myspace.

    When it is so easy to check this, I find this thread a thoroughly bizarre. If the purpose of this forum is to highlight scams and warn others, why not really find out? That would be a service. And what's more, if it turned out we were a scam, you really would be able to kick up a fuss and really do our site some damage.

    Maybe I am being a bit naive. As somebody who has made his living from writing for the last 8 years, I have personally never experienced such a scam.

  25. #25
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Hi Alan. I think that the reason why people here are so suspicious about EditRed is because there are a number of things about your model that seem a little confusing. Perhaps you could clarify them here and help put people's minds at rest.

    As I understand it, EditRed's website is essentially a writing community for people to post and share work and gain feedback from other members. Absolute Write offers a similar facility and I don't think anyone would suggest that there's de facto anything wrong with that. However, EditRed's model then goes further (and let me know if I'm misreading or misunderstanding any of this) whereby work submitted for competition will be read by you and the other site founders and you will help the best to get published. This idea came from a poetry competition that you ran.

    A Emmins:
    we emailed the 10 short listed writers and asked them how they would feel about us pitching their poems, promoted as the best of a batch of 500, to zines and journals that we have known and enjoyed in the past, or new ones that we thought looked like they could really stand out, or whose editors we knew. EVERY single writer came back (all were previously published) saying they thought it was a great idea, they supported it, welcomed it and encouraged it. We then approached, as a trial, a new journal called 34th Parallel, that we had already been talking to about announcing them in our forum. We had known the founders of this journal for more than 12 months.
    I can understand you wanting to help people get published and you and the other site founders obviously understand that publishing credentials can help people to secure 'proper' publishing contracts for their work (novels, collections etc). So with that in mind and taking on board the fact that your motivation was genuinely to help - why did you send 10 poems to a magazine run by friends/acquaintances of yours where that magazine had no track record?

    I'm particularly concerned because I've just been to check out the web site for 34th Parallel and I can't find any links to published magazines. With their submission guides, I can't find any references to payment and I can't find any references to work that they won't accept (and this seems strange because almost every magazine will state that there's something they're unwilling to consider). I can find a link to their clothes store and a link back to EditRed but I can find no reference to when their first publication will be coming out.

    The reason why this raises problems for me is because (as I'm sure you'll understand), a publishing credit is pretty meaningless if an agent or publisher can't find it on the web and further, many agents will say that a publishing credit only means something if it's for a professional or respected publication (i.e. magazines that don't pay carry less cache than those that pay professional or semi-professional rates). How did submitting 10 people's poems to a magazine that makes no reference to payment and has no set timetable for publication of the first magazine help those writers? With those 7 poems that were accepted - how many of them received remuneration and on what scale was that remuneration?

    A Emmins:
    Based on this success, we would like to do this with all our competitions. We are reading the content anyway, so if we can pull out the top pieces and help get them published, great.
    Putting aside my comments on 34th Parallel - what other publications do you submit winners' work to? How do you decide which markets to submit to? How does what you're doing add any more value than a writer going to, e.g. Duotrope and submitting work directly to magazines via their search facility? What sort of success rate have you had with getting work published in magazines other than 34th Parallel? How many of those successes have seen the writers receive remuneration? How much of that remuneration has been on a professional or semi-professional scale?

    A Emmins:
    We publish yearly anthologies, we do not ask writers to buy copies, we pay them. Not a lot, anthologies are a hard sell. ... After we have published, the writer can republish that piece of work should they wish or have the opportunity to.
    (CUT BY ME)

    Of the people published in your anthologies, how many have gone on to have work reprinted elsewhere?

    In the advertising blurb for Edit Red Homepages, your site says:

    Enter cash prize competitions and win prestigious awards.
    What prestigious awards have been won by members of Edit Red?

    The advertising blurb also says:

    Access our promotional guides and articles to advance your writing career.
    Are those promotional guides and articles free to access or are there any fees charged?

    For what it's worth, I don't think that EditRed is a scam, but I am having big problems seeing what benefit your site offers beyond what I could get from a hundred other on-line work-sharing sites that are available on the 'net.

    In particular, I am concerned about the carrot of publication being dangled in front of people because I can't see what value there is in being published in one of your anthologies when someone who has written a stella story could equally try for publication in an established magazine.

    MM
    Last edited by Momento Mori; 06-18-2007 at 08:05 PM.

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