Longshot Press Renews Trolling

Longshot Press, run by Daniel Scott White, opened a new round of trolling its critics this weekend.

One avenue of attack was the email some received today (click for a larger image).

Two of White’s magazines were the subject of complaints in February 2020, first publicly identified by Benjamin C,. Kinney. The opening paragraph of File 770’s roundup “Is This Practice Unreal or Unfit? It’s Both” recaps what the issues were at the time:

Unreal and Unfit magazines use Thinkerbeat Reader to “chart… the authors that we thought did really well with a story submission.” But these are not stories they bought – six days ago they tweeted out a link to the list of stories they rejected. The page had names, titles, and a rating between one and five stars. One problem: none of the authors had given them permission to do so.

SFWA followed up with a statement on Facebook warning about these practices in March 2020. After that, Longshot Press owner Daniel Scott White spent the rest of the year attacking SFWA in a series of eight posts on his personal blog The Land of Words. In other posts he contended the public rejection ratings were really a form of award. On the Longshot Press website itself he sought to discredit SFWA in “A Clear Bias at the SFWA” [Internet Archive link].

Unfit Magazine’s Twitter account has trolled Kinney and Jim C. Hines before (Hines, because in December he responded to the Longshot Press attack on SFWA in a Twitter thread that starts here.) Here are screencaps of Unfit’s new round of attacks.

People’s approach to trolls swings back and forth between denying them the oxygen of attention and exposing their abuses to the sunlight. This weekend the sun came out.   

Jim C. Hines tweeted:

Benjamin C. Kinney acknowledged the attempt:

6 thoughts on “Longshot Press Renews Trolling

  1. It reads to me like nastiness for the sake of nastiness. Or being Puppy-adjacent.

  2. A lesser offense, perhaps, but no doubt part of the puzzle: I can report that it is damn near impossible to get off their mailing list, too. That’s the tl;dr – here’s the full story. (Warning: LONG)

    Way back when, when their worst visible offense was “We don’t send rejection letters; if you don’t hear back in 30 days, assume we’re not accepting your story for publication,” I sent them a few things. So I was around for when they changed to a submission process involving a portal you access by registering as a member on their website forum author promotion thingie. I didn’t love that, but it wasn’t unique; it basically looked like them having their own personal Submittable or Moksha, only one that also acted like an author community website and PR network in a YADSy kind of way (YADS = yet another display site). Oh well. I signed up. One perk I could see was, now I could log in and look my submission status and actually see an “in progress” or a “rejected”, so it seemed like an improvement at the time.

    Then word went around that membership at their website forum author promotion thingie was not free. It only appeared free because there was a 3-month free trial attached to new memberships–and only some authors were receiving emails explaining this fact. The submission guidelines at Unfit and Unreal made no mention of this wrinkle. So not only had they moved to a pay-to-submit model, but they were being sneaky about it, probably so that more authors would register and Thinkerbeat could enjoy bragging about their very high membership rates in order to make the author PR side of the site seem more attractive?

    I immediately moved to cancel my account. It required personally emailing the editor, because there wasn’t a mechanism for it on the website forum author PR thingie.

    Next time their newsletter went out, I got one. Subject header referring to “Your Submission Portal.” This made me a bit sore because of the whole Personally Requesting My Account Closed episode. I emailed back, asking for an explanation (and to have my account really closed). I got a snarky response from the editor, all “I closed your account a long time ago. You have to click the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. This link, here:” (with a screenshot of said link) “You have to click this.” Which, OK, fine. But I could hardly be blamed for expecting that deleting my membership would also remove me from the members-only newsletter.

    So I used the unsubscribe link. Those keeping count will know we are at two, TWO attempts (ah-ha-ha) to disconnect from Thinkerbeat.

    Some months later, yet another copy of the Thinkerbeat newsletter wound up in my inbox. I hit the unsubscribe link again, and I reported them to the company managing their mailing list.

    Only time will tell how successful this third attempt will have been.

    (Or was it the fourth? Because at some point during the stage when the debacle went full anti-SFWA, I added “SFWA member” to my Twitter profile, which is what the editor said to do if you wanted to be totally banned from submitting to Thinkerbeat properties.)

  3. Thanks. I hope I didn’t give too many readers a rude awakening before that was fixed.

  4. Mike Glyer on March 15, 2021 at 12:17 am said:

    Thanks. I hope I didn’t give too many readers a rude awakening before that was fixed.

    I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve done that to people

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