No publication is obligated to get back to you. Full Writer’s Market books have droves of publications that clarify that if they don’t get back to you within 4–6 weeks, they’re not interested. Literary agents do it. This is not in any way, shape or form odd. Writers have binders full of rejection letters and pretty much anyone who has done it for money has had publications not respond back to them. Digital publications usually give you about a week or two. At some point, they get so many submissions that they may turn off the “Submit to ZORA” option altogether. At least two major publications on Medium did that.

In addition to it not already being on the publication, they could just not want it. No publication, including my own, are obligated to take your work. I’ve had people pitch to mine and I opted out. This just sounds indignant to me, but you have the option of publishing it on your own if you really think it’s that good of a post.

I mentioned magazines and newspapers because the bigger the publication, the more submissions it’ll get. If this was some random no-name publication on Medium, you wouldn’t write a whole post protesting it. I don’t understand how you’ve been writing professionally for 43 years and ZORA is the one publication you chose to speak out against. It just sounds like you’re having a temper tantrum over the one black publication. I refuse to believe that in your 43 years of writing, everybody else just scooped up ALL your content. Did you write thinkpieces about them, too? Or just the one with black women?

Every new writer or beginner writer does not have something worth putting in these bigger publications. I definitely know the way I was writing when I was new versus now. I don’t even read my first book anymore because I want to rewrite the whole damn thing. I am proud of it, but I’m drastically different writer now than I was then. Literally EVERY single writer’s advice book will tell you to hone your craft.

It sounds like you joined Medium so you could get published there instead of just enjoying the publication. I still cannot get on board with this. This whole post sounds spoiled to me: “They didn’t publish my work so I’ll air them out.” Granted I’ve done this with companies that involved money or with people saying something malicious on social media, etc. But I just don’t see how it’s productive to write an entire post about the one publication geared toward women of color about why they didn’t accept your pieces. I just have a feeling had they accepted YOUR pieces, you wouldn’t write this post about them not accepting anybody else’s. They rejected five of mine. I didn’t protest about it. I don’t understand how I’ve been writing professionally for 15 years and you’ve been doing it for 43 years and responded like this.

This is not a good look. At all. SMH

Written by

Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store