A few weeks ago, there was a big argument on Twitter on whether writers with little money should be kept out of publishing. There were those who wondered how writers not being able to pay the $20 PitchWars fee, how could they afford to be on the internet? Basically, they were saying that if you can’t afford to pay, you shouldn’t be trying to write a book or publish it. I’m on a fixed budget with mental health issues and I don’t think it’s fair that myself, or any other marginalized writer, should be blocked from publishing because of funds. I responded early when the post came up, not in negativity toward the PitchWars creators as they put up a voucher which I applied for, but then I heard about all that happened on Twitter as far as some writers arguing that $20 wasn’t much and if you couldn’t afford that why are you even trying?
We all know the writing profession doesn’t bring in a lot of money for writers, unless you’re a big brand name. Still, it’s like inviting everyone to a party and then charging a fee at the door that some can’t pay. If you continue that practice only the privileged are going to be there. You’ll miss out on stories that might change your perspective on things. Since the beginning of time, a lot of writers had to find backers to sponsor their work. William Shakespeare, anyone? What if they’d said to him, “You don’t have money, so you can’t write these plays?”
I’m not really upset at PitchWars, who reversed their decision to charge the fees with the outcry. It’s that there are those people out there who think a person should be barred from publishing simply because they can’t afford to pay. Personally, I would Indie publish if I could afford it, but since I don’t have the funding to do it properly, I’m looking into traditional. I hope my lack of funds doesn’t hold me back. That publishers who are aware of my situation choose to work with me despite it. I hope to get the same chance as everyone else. I’ve spent a lot of time learning my craft. Shouldn’t my work be judged according to this; not how much money is in my bank account?
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