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.
As we read the stories we rank them. For 1 star, not shown on the list, please try again. For 5 stars, we buy them, also not shown on the list. For 2 to 4 stars, we think you deserve recognition and have created this list to say thank you.
Benjamin Kinney called out the practice in “Writer Warning: Unfit / Unreal / Thinkerbeat Reader”.
If you’re an author out there submitting short stories, you should be aware of the things that the magazine Unfit and Unreal (via their portal Thinkerbeat Reader) are doing without your permission.
Here’s a screenshot from the page where they publish the authors, titles, and ratings for some stories they’ve rejected….
(Yes, public. This page is visible to everyone, not only Thinkerbeat readers.)
…Maybe some authors are willing to have their rejections named & rated. I certainly wouldn’t be, but that’s your choice to make. But it’s DEFINITELY not okay to share information about individual submissions without asking permission. None of the authors in my screenshot were aware of this until I told them.…
Stephen Granade writes: “I was one of the authors on the list, and chose to out myself, as the editor hadn’t asked permission” – see his tweet here.
Interestingly enough, the magazines claim they won’t use your data in any way — see screencap of their policy in this tweet by Erin M. Hartshorn.
To add to this lack of professionalism, when Benjamin Kinney asked about this practice, the editor of the magazines replied simply, “Grow up.”
Victoria Strauss has added a warning to her followers about not submitting to those sites:
Alasdair Stuart, as usual, has cogent thoughts on the matter. Thread starts here.
[Thanks to Stephen Granade for the story.]