Welcome to a special weekday edition of our weekend conversation.
An editor at PANK Magazine has left the journal.
Johnson offers valuable insights as to what has been going on there:
A single editor? Not even going through Submittable? 3,700+ manuscripts languishing in the queue?
This tracks with my own and many others’ experiences at PANK, which I wrote about here:
After I spoke out about the magazine, they moved my submission (sent in 2020) from “received” to “in progress.” Still, no word, not even a quick little rejection.
Meanwhile, the magazine remains open, charging writers a whopping $5 per general submission. That’s a few bucks more than most magazines that charge submission fees.
As of this writing, they are also open for chapbook submissions, at $15/submission.
Plus many writers are saying that books they ordered and paid for never arrived.
This does not appear to be an operational magazine anymore, but a scam.
Whoever is running this show needs to put out a statement, refund money to anyone who ordered books, and pause submissions until it is possible to catch up. We will understand. We will appreciate the transparency and forgive. No biggie.
Barring that, close the journal.
It is profoundly unethical to continue accepting money from writers for work that won’t be read and books that will never be delivered.
What do you think?
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I don't know what consumer protection laws exist in the US but there must be some way of enforcing a refund on purchased books not delivered.
At the very least, Submittable and Duotrope, who are earning money off this racket, should have prominent warnings about this 'publisher'. Better still, they both should be delisting PANK until they receive assurances that these practices have ceased.
As I've said in this forum before, there must be be some enterprising person out there who could establish a 'TripAdvisor' for writers to share their experiences of dodgy publishers and litmags.
As I read this, I was thinking, "Sounds like a scam", so I agree with you, Becky. I'm sure a lot of people still submit to PANK on the basis of the reputation it built up under Roxane Gay and co. and don't realise that there's been a new dispensation for some years. I wonder if anything can be done by contacting Submittable and alerting them to the situation. Can anything be done about their Duotrope listing? The latter doesn't include any alert at present, other than noting that it has one of the slowest response times.
As an active writer artist who submits, my advice is never pay any submission fees. When I see Submittable I bypass as well, unless for my yearly New Yorker and Poetry magazines chances. I prefer to send to journals that have an email address. The best way to have your work accepted is to network and build friendships and then editors will be asking you for your work.
As for "PANK loves you. PANK is always open for your love" - PUKE!
PANK takes the cake, but so many mags leave writers waiting longer than is reasonable (IMO). Why accept more subs than you can respond to in a timely manner? If it takes you six + months to reply to a submission, maybe that is a sign that you should close subs until you catch up? Just a thought. I read on the Ed Board of a lit mag, and I think we could also do better! I.e., my POV on both sides of the equation is that writers simply have to wait too long! :)
For me, three months is a reasonable turnaround. Much longer, and I think it would be better to err on the side of closing the queue for a bit.
How long are others comfortable waiting?
I received a same day automated response for my sub to PANK Little Books (Chapbooks) 2020 via Submittable on 08/18/2020. That was the first and last communication from them, although I queried twice regarding the status of the submission (3/2/2021, 4/5/2021). I withdrew my sub 5/1/2021 with this message :
“No response by publisher to writer status queries (2); query publisher guidelines followed.”
(The guidelines were to query PANK after 6 months).
I’m certain no one read my message, but someone definitely kept my $15 submission fee.
I do love this statement from the sub guidelines - “ …please do us the courtesy of informing us right away if your work is accepted elsewhere.”
Between PANK and learning a bit about how some lit mags are rumored to solicit writers for “contests” and award the win to these solicitations, I do appreciate those who have stepped forward to alert writers because lit twit can prove quite hateful.
Also lit mags who extend a contest deadline? What’s that all about?
PANK took 614 days to reject my submission. When was the last issue published? Perhaps Duotrope should give them the big dnq. As for response time, I read for a lit mag whose editors have to shift submissions around because their readers don't get to them; now I get up to 40 submissions of up to 5 poems each, because "I get stuff done."
"Pank loves you"? Yeah, I've had lovers like that...
Just to add to what i said this morning (in the UK) ... I do think Submittable should be alerted to this situation and would write to them myself had I submitted to, or ordered from, PANK. For the record, I did write to them a while ago to query something and received a reply from what read very much like a human being within a day or two.
wow. Although I think it's ok for magazines to charge fees, you, Becky, have just done a public service:). This sounds like a scam.