Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Say Something Mean Really Loudly: The Agenda of "The Write Agenda"

Any of my writer friends and followers, if you haven't had a chance, check out Writer Beware™ Blogs!: The Agenda of "The Write Agenda"

There are a lot of decisions writers have to make. At the end of it, we're basically on our own. Sure, we have writers groups, beta readers, fans and editors...but what we do, our actual work, writing, we do it alone. And so we develop a sense of self-sufficiency and, dare I say it, stubbornness. I know this is true for me. But it's important to remember that just because we're capable of writing a book, story or poem doesn't mean we're smart enough to notice when we're being taken advantage of. Please trust me when I tell you that this is something I know a LOT about.

Just be careful. Do your homework.

Writer Beware is a blog by publishing professionals dedicated to protecting writers from unscrupulous people who would take advantage of your dreams for a buck. And believe me, there are a LOT of them out there. Note that this is just a resource. They don't expect you to take their word as gospel, Writer Beware is just providing you with information so you can make a decision.

The Write Agenda purports to be the same thing, but actually has one goal and one goal only: attacking Writer Beware and the people who support it. They claim they are supported largely by writers who have paid to have their books published--which I am NOT putting down: if you decide, as an author, that you wish to pay to have your book published that's your choice and I wish you luck. But, I wonder how many of these self-published authors realize that they are on a list claiming to support this group.

The Write Agenda savagely attacks anyone who criticizes them--I expect to land on their boycott list, maybe even get a page of my own on theirs like P.N. Elrod. Outrageously, they brag about hosting book burnings for targeted critic authors. BOOK BURNINGS?!? Are you guys for fucking real? Do you have any idea how that makes you look?

Hmm...I guess not...incidentally, those pictures are shopped--poorly. I doubt the guys holding those signs have any idea they've been used this way and, judging by the looks of them, wouldn't be too happy about it if they did. The Write Agenda's Facebook Page has fewer LIKES on Facebook than a Wikipedia page about White Power hate group Stormfront. Get a new publicist, guys. Aside from shopped death wishes, book burnings and boycotts and harassments, they post one-star reviews on critics books, while seemingly admitting that they haven't read them, only that they've been told by someone else that these writers must be punished. They do this anonymously, or in at least one case that I personally observed, by using the name of another author:

Write Agenda toadie posing as author Karen Blocker (sic) on WB blog

The REAL (and correctly spelled) Karen Blocher responds.

This is cult-like, almost criminal behavior.

In contrast, Writer Beware is open about the published authors who run the site. A couple of years ago on the Writer Beware message boards, I had a disagreement with several members there. I was wrong, and a little less than cordial about it. It isn't something I'd like to go into any deeper, but suffice to say that I admitted my error and apologized to the people involved. My reprisal for this transgression against them? Nothing. I wasn't added to any boycott lists, I didn't get any hate mail, no anonymous threats on my wall or anything. I will be sure to let everyone know if The Write Agenda handles things differently after posting this blog.

So yeah, I may be making some enemies with this. But as the man (Desmond Tutu) says, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." A little dramatic for this, I think...but still, the point is there: sometimes you have to pick a side. And I'm picking one. For the other side, if you think I can be intimidated or coerced into shutting up, I've just got one thing to say: come at me, bro!

For no reason, here is Teddy Roosevelt fighting a Sasquatch