Thursday, December 02, 2010

BitchBuzz: Why are People So Desperate to be Writers?

My column (in haste: NYC bound!):

Why are People so Desperate to be a Writers?

Everybody's a writer or wants to be. At least that's what the internet tells me. There are all kinds of ways to help writers or writer wannabes.
For example there is the persistent Twitter spam telling you that writers are needed very badly. There are ways to get paid for this, our urgent friend tells us. As Victoria Strauss writes at the Writer Beware® blog, the link included in that spam tweet leads to a service where you can pay to be told about jobs that will pay you for writing. Gosh!

Never mind that there are plenty of free sites offering the same thing: RealWritingJobs wants to help you out of the goodness of their hearts to find real writing jobs for about $50 a month. What a bargain! If that's not good enough for you, because you're an artist who's already written a magnum opus, why not pay PublishAmerica to enter one of Amazon's fine publishing contests? Wait—what's that? You can enter for free on your own? But what about the fine imprimatur that PublishAmerica gives you? You don't want to do without that, do you? And wait—that script writing contest for Amazon's new crowd-sourced film empire: did you know that they get to hold onto your script's rights for a year and a half even if you don't win anything?

Read the rest:

UPDATE: I can't believe I forgot to include one of the things that sparked this story -- James Frey's Fiction Factory. Unbelievable.


Isabel Roman said...

Yet one more reason to boycott Amazon. But I have noticed that being a writer is a big thing. Have you seen that video about it?

Todd Mason said...

Hey, Vantage Press hasn't existed since the 1940s (earlier?) because this kind of scam is new...nor have THE WRITER and WRITER'S DIGEST flourished and inspired others because there are any lack of a certain percentage of people think that any writing might be Actually Publishable. I've always loved the poetry anthologies that will take your poetry as long as you buy a copy of the resultant anthology...and have argued with those who argue for fee-entry literary contests...

"Isabel"--half of what's funny are the familiar, but still amusing, changes run on the theme in the cartoon...and half is that the cartoon is part of a a sort of Mad-Lib series that can be used for many different situations...I've previously seen these characters used for medical parody, limning the differences between surgeons and gps...

Why are so few desperate to be A proofreaders? I certainly could use some more of those...

C. Margery Kempe said...

Isabel -- I used that video :-) Yeah Xtranormal is handy!

Todd -- yeah, word on that. I need all the proofreaders I can get, particularly ones well-versed in a wide variety of historical slang ;-)

Yeah, I remember Vantage Press and its ads in the back of New Yorker and other reputable publications. I guess really stupid people will always be swindled.