feelin' blue in a red state…

…or seeing red in a blue state

Hi Writers,
On this election day, it seemed appropriate timing to make a statement about the so-called political leanings of Writer’s Digest. Well, I hereby declare Writer’s Digest independent and neutral territory—the Switzerland of the publishing world, if you will.

We’ve been getting a lot of flack recently about our “On the Edge” column, in particular, and I wanted to clarify a few things.

In the December issue we featured Alternative Fare, an article on Gay and Lesbian writing markets. We’re doing, I think, a great job of providing analytical reports on publishing niche markets. In the past year we’ve covered markets for street lit, erotica and spiritual writing among others. These are potentially heated topics and—depending on what the topic is—we get called right wing wackos, left wing hippies, crazy liberal freaks and on, and on.

These are writing markets, pure and simple. We’re not endorsing any lifestyle or religion or political party. We’re not taking a stand on any particular issue. There are certainly plenty of places on the Web and on the newsstand to find political commentary. But there aren’t many sources for fair, objective reporting on writing markets, and that’s what we strive to bring you.

We’re reporting on industry trends—sometimes these trends fall within the realm of heated political topics. You have my word that we’re going out of our way to maintain fair, unbiased reporting.

If you think we cross the line into the realm of political commentary, I’d like to hear it, please leave a comment here.

Keep Writing,

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5 thoughts on “feelin' blue in a red state…

  1. Christina Katz

    I’m always amazed at the extreme reactions to everyday realities. I think that Writer’s Digest editors do an impeccable job covering what is.

    When Writer Mama came out the WD Forums went wild because one of the dozens of tips reprinted (gathered from throughout almost 300 pages btw) suggested allowing your kids to watch a television show so you could do a little writing.

    I was not just criticized in a perfunctory manner by forum members but ridiculed. I believe one member suggested that I get a house plant instead of having children.

    Can you imagine how I would have been derided if I’d suggested letting your child watch a television show while you wrote for a gay, erotic or spiritual market?

    Keep up the good work, Maria!

  2. :Donna

    I agree that, although I might not like that certain niches are out there, it doesn’t mean that I believe acknowledging it should be avoided. Writer’s Digest is for writers and as far as I know, there are no stipulations or restrictions in place to shun a specific kind of writer or their niche. I consider Writer’s Digest a writer-generic publication. As with any other publication, I don’t read the articles, etc. that don’t pertain to me and what I’m interested in, just as I typically fast-forward past the commercials on a video tape.
    : Donna

  3. Hope Clark

    At FundsforWriters, I likewise fight to remain neutral in our information delivery of grants, contests, etc. My personal convictions are deeply rooted, but FundsforWriters is for all writers of all beliefs and political leanings. On occasion I receive feedback from those who dislike my listings – too right, too left, too religious, too Christian, too alternative. I refuse to budget off center for FundsforWriters. It wouldn’t be far to the writing community. But my personal convictions are expressed every November in the polling booth, without fail.

  4. Elizabeth

    While you’ve certainly done articles on niches I would never be interested in reading, much less writing for, I’ve never felt offended by it. As the previous commentor said, the niche is there, whether a particular person likes it or not. I think WD has done a fine job of reporting facts without going into the political arena.

  5. Lisa

    Interesting blog entry. It’s a tough thing to separate personal convictions, biases, and leanings in order to do a professional job.

    I once listened to an AP reporter say that anyone who pretends they aren’t biased is the one person that should not and cannot be trusted to provide unbiased information. It’s only in recognizing our own leanings that we are able to then refrain from allowing those same leanings to influence our writing.

    There have been a few times over the past year that I’ve cringed upon reading a WD article about a controversial fringe market. My initial reaction was to wonder how a nationally recognized publication could legitimize certain fringes of the publishing world. And then I had to accept that it was my own biases and convictions that were getting in the way of seeing the real truth: the market is there whether I like it or not, and there are other writers out there who want to write for that niche.

    Providing all writers with articles filled with real how-to information instead of platitudes is what makes WD a reliable source.