1. ScrumptioulsyJess

    ScrumptioulsyJess New Member

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    LGBT PUBLISHING DISCRIMINATION HELP

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by ScrumptioulsyJess, Apr 2, 2019.

    Hi everyone, my name is Jess. I am a student at Teesside University in England, for my current project I am trying to compile and create a leaflet that I would distribute to the local community, the leaflet will contain information for aspiring LGBT writers, on how to get your work published through LGBT specific publishers and agents. One section of my leaflet will cover LGBT discrimination in the workplace more specific the literary field, I decided to start my research by asking you, the LGBT community if you have experienced any discrimination whilst either

    - Applying for a job within a literary business e.g interviews at publishing houses, with agents or libraries in your local area
    - Any discrimination you may have been victim to whilst working at any of the previously mentioned professions
    - Discrimination when attempting to publish some of your work.

    All, if any contributions to this forum would be massively appreciated as it will help me greatly with my assignment. Thank you in advance.
     
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  2. Bjørnar Munkerud

    Bjørnar Munkerud Senior Member

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    I'm a bisexual man. I have never experienced any negative consequences of biphobia regarding my writing. This is probably largely because I am self-published, and as such I have had minimal contact with people who have had power over my writing.

    I applaud you for dealing with this subject. I believe that if writers are presented with fewer and easier steps towards getting published, this is a huge boon for everyone and would encourage people to write more and more creatively. Giving people safe spaces where they are not inhibited by the bigotry of others, or for that matter of economical, geographical or technological restraints, is a fantastic endeavour we should all support, and it rewards itself in the long run through giving voices to those who have not been fortunate enough to be heard.

    Good luck, Jess!
     
  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Not really, but I don't really give of the aura of being in the community, either. It's not something I hide, but it's very rarely relevant to the job at hand. I've had a few dickish coworkers, and run into a few problems while in the job, but nothing ever on an employer level. It's all been on a personal level.
     
  4. ScrumptioulsyJess

    ScrumptioulsyJess New Member

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    Hi Bjornar
    Thanks for replying, it's great to hear your response to my questions and very interesting to hear the self-publishing side of things, I totally agree with you that aspiring writers need that extra bit of support. I feel they just need that push to go on creating those stories, for me it was a movie that showed me self worth, which I think is something our community desperately needs. Again thank you for replying.
     
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  5. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Active Member

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    I work in publishing and I also write. I haven’t experienced any discrimination that I know of for either of those (I am a lesbian). I feel like that’s not very helpful for what you’re doing, but it’s the truth! I have only just started submitting work for publication, but there seem to be quite a few places that want to publish work by and about diverse writers/characters.
     
  6. ScrumptioulsyJess

    ScrumptioulsyJess New Member

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    Hi Thanks for replying
    I don't agree that it is unhelpful for what I am doing, gathering information and statistics is a large part of my endeavors, especially because you have such a positive experience within the community. Like you said there is a large and diverse group of publishers that want to publish LGBT stories, I have been shook by the actual amount I was able to find in such a short time. As I said the main point of my project is to find information and pass it on back to the public, hopefully creating some new authors in the process, and it is amazing that all of the responses I have gotten already are positive.
     
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  7. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    Why do you think this is at all necessary, or even useful?
    You're pigeonholing LGBT authors. Do you think that's a good thing to do?
     
  8. ScrumptioulsyJess

    ScrumptioulsyJess New Member

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    Hi
    The plan for the leaflet would include LGBT specific publishing houses, but also ones that have published other genre's as well. My intention was not to assign the community to a particular category, more to provide insight that specific publishing houses do exist. Obviously, the choice is down to the author to where they wish to send their manuscripts, however, because there are so many of us that still have a way to go before they can be happy with themselves, and are still held back by what people think of them, outlining specific LGBT publishers may make them feel safer because they know what they are going through, it was never supposed to imply that LGBT writers can only be published by LGBT publishers. I hope this explains my reasoning.
     
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  9. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    This is actually pretty useful. LGBT publishers are generally more open to things other publishers aren't. As such, it's really just an option of broader horizons. And it's not really pigeonholing given that these authors are free to try publishing literally anything they want anywhere else.
     
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  10. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    I think it's detrimental to the careers of new writers to suggest, by directing them to niche publishers, that their work won't be welcome at mainline publishers. If the point of the leaflet was "you want to publish m/m BSDM, this publisher does a lot of that," that would be one thing.

    But to say "because you're LGBT, try these guys first," when the author's work might have mainstream appeal, doesn't seem at all useful. It would be like advising a young Elton John to not sign with MCA.

    But I've said my piece. It's not my problem if other authors let people guide them away from opportunities. If they are so afraid of rejection that they would prefer to submit to publishers someone says are "friendly" to them, they're probably doomed anyway.
     
  11. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    I think your overall project is worthy.

    Please be careful - you are going to be publishing what amounts to a list of unverified anecdotes of personal interactions and then attaching those anecdotes to corporations, as if the corporations were directly responsible. That runs a risk of getting yourself into a libel suit - especially if your work could be at all construed to be commercial, since you aren't just hosting opinions, but selecting, editing and publishing them as your product.

    Not trying to warn you off, but no normal publisher wants to be associated with prejudice in 2019, and will go out of their way to combat any sort of allegation of impropriety with legal resources much greater than yours. So please proceed with eyes open.
     
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  12. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Some times their work won't be welcome at mainline publishers. That's what researching the market is all about.

    ETA: Also why I like agents. They generally have better resources at getting a book in the hands of the best people to publish it regardless of who's written it.
     
  13. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    This doesn't seem like a real issue. Writers, especially people smart enough to write anything worth publishing, aren't complete knuckleheads who will assume that their sexuality dictates that they won't be able to go the same mainstream publishers as Gore Vidal or Truman Capote.
     
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  14. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    Oh, so you're agreeing with me.
     
  15. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    Incorrect.

    It is neither being suggested that LGBTQ writers only have certain places to get published, nor is anyone likely to believe that.
     
  16. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Agreed, but it is nice to have places that are more friendly than others. Because, as you may have noticed, some people do tend to get their jimmies in a rustle any time they feel their default is being challenged.
     
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  17. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    I agree 100%. And I think an author of any LGBTQ sort of subject matter is likely to recognize that niche resources are valuable. But they also live in the real world and realize that gay fiction is no longer fringe and all outlets are worth pursuing as well.

    In this era, it is going to be much easier to find an LGBTQ material publisher than one for ultra conservative material. But all non-mainstream fiction is harder to get published in general.
     
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  18. ScrumptioulsyJess

    ScrumptioulsyJess New Member

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    Hi Thanks for your concern.
    The idea of publishing this was not to link any specific firm to an experience someone had, I wished to only find out if said discrimination did happen rather than find out which company did so or allowed the action to happen. The information I would release via the publishing company side would only be what they have made available to the public online, therefore not warranting any repercussions. But tahnk you wholeheartedly for your concern.
     
  19. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    It will be interesting to see what you get. You'll likely find some real discrimination, some folks who felt like they might have been looked down on - but aren't sure, and some realistic and candid advice that wasn't well received.


    Fiction writing produces such an incredibly subjective product that even the publishers aren't always experts in what is 'good' or saleable and what isn't, or agree with each other. That's why Dune was published by a car repair manual printer.
     
  20. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    As someone who's pretty analytical, though by no means all that academic (though I did get good grades throughout my life), I hate to say this but is your research on this forum really going to be valuable to your assignments?

    If you're really interested in LGBT discrimination in the literary field, you'd surely need to interview people? Since I'm gonna assume your hypothesis is that discrimination against LGBT authors exists. Posts on a public forum are likely not going to count towards "evidence" for your case at all because there are far too many factors you have no idea of to really assess whether the experience someone recounts was truly discrimination in the first place, or even if it was discrimination, whether it was truly due to the fact that said author was part of the LGBT community, as opposed to a host of other reasons one could be discriminated against.

    I'm failing to see the point of this thread... Anecdotal evidence is great for personal enrichment and widening of personal horizons, but for academic research? Not at all.

    Discrimination is also notoriously difficult to prove. By what criteria would you ascertain any experiences were a case of discrimination in the first place?
     
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  21. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    In my limited understanding this hasn't been a problem since the Beats.
     
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  22. ScrumptioulsyJess

    ScrumptioulsyJess New Member

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    Hi
    I feel I may have not made my intentions clear, I would just like to state I in no way wish to pursue any career into LGBT discrimination, however, I am an aspiring writer, my course at university is Creative writing and for this project, we had to create a research document of some kind to which I picked LGBT specific publishing. The discrimination side was sort of an extra add on a piece if you will. Whilst any or all responses are useful, I do agree that nothing I gain would be concrete evidence, however, that is not what I wanted, merely to find out peoples views on the subject. To which I feel I have achieved, to try and answer your question "By what criteria would you ascertain any experiences were a case of discrimination in the first place?" Is something I feel I could not answer, not perhaps to the extent you are looking for.
     
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  23. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    To be fair, I don't think the purpose here is to produce a research study, but just to try an get an idea what problems might be out there and if they have any pattern. That isn't science, but it isn't terrible to say "Here are some anecdotes."

    Dealing with discrimination is difficult, because it is illusive (as you describe), but there is still value in 'forewarned is forearmed' since deep data is unlikely to be available.
     
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  24. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    There we go.

    I think it's also valuable to draw attention to the fact that some areas of employment are pretty good about being inclusive and friendly. If someones faced difficulty in other places, they may go into a job expecting and reacting to discrimination that hasn't actually arisen (preacting?), and that could also have seriously negative consequences.
     
  25. Rzero

    Rzero Contributor Contributor

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    I can't entirely speak to discrimination, because I haven't experienced much of it personally. I've witnessed cringe-worthy sentiment, but most of it wasn't aimed directly at me. Like a few of your respondents, I'm bisexual. I'm out and open as long as I'm not in the rare circumstance that might result in a parking lot ass kicking doled out by rednecks. I've actually experienced more discrimination within LGBTetc. than I have from the straight world, possibly because I broadcast it less? I don't know. There are factors.

    Anyway, I (God forgive me) agree with some of what @XRD_author was initially saying, in that I believe a part of the problem is that LGBT is a category at all. Gay, bi, trans and asexual characters have nothing to do with genre, and shouldn't dictate the categorization of a story. I feel such divisions separate us in ways they shouldn't, just as labels like "ethnic" and "urban" divide art along lines that have nothing to do with content, the LGBT label on a book pulls great authors out of the running for accolades reserved for "straight" literature, and elevates writing that happens to have a gay lead to a position it might or might not deserve because it's of particular interest to "the community."

    These things partition us off from each other. Shouldn't the goal be more diversity in traditional publishing?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
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