Nicole’s words (which I shared on Medium Dreamers):
“Hi Darcy! Thank you for reaching out and asking for clarification. I would say a couple of things. I don’t know many pub owners who take the time I take to go through profiles to make sure writers are a good fit. As of August our writer bank was completely full and I had to go through and remove writers who were not actively writing with us. Since that time I have been extremely careful to add writers who write often and write well within the popular topics. I am also careful not to add writers who write topics on the fringe that do not fall within our scope--of all content, not focusing on any group in particular. I think anyone running a pub would do exactly this. 1. We have LGTB writers, not many, but some for sure and some I have great relationships with. 2. Re: Rachel, the truth is that I didn’t even know she is an LGBTQ writer. I examined her profile going back more than 3 months. And, personally read 5 of her stories--top to bottom--I don’t know who takes the time to do this. The final story I read was about sex-- plain sex-- nothing special, nothing funky--just sex. The question I asked myself was how would I explain sex to my daughter if she walked by and asked about the words she was reading. And, if this topic came to the queue often, would I want to continue to explain it? We have been clear since day 1, that we work in the open and don’t want content that would not be appropriate for our children to read over our shoulder. i.e. PG content across the board. Last week we surpassed 20,000 followers and we are competing and on par (according to Medium) with their views and numbers of larger pubs who have double the number of writers. That means we have to be selective about who we bring on and what we publish. We like regular contributors who write often and write strongly within the topics in within our guidelines. Guidelines that now also don’t include poetry and fiction (because they don’t perform well here). We’ve grown, that doesn’t come without changes. Unfortunately, we can’t bring on everyone and we can’t keep everyone happy. Some people are looking for ratings and especially to be on the fringe. I’m not looking to do that through the pub. And, today, James Finn, published a story today tagging me, calling me a bigot and naming both me and the pub as intolerant. Overall, I look to publish content that performs well according to the pub stats and that the readership enjoys. I do feel this is a huge mischaracterization. I appreciate your outreach and your thoughts.”
I suggested, since she feels her stance has been mischaracterized, she reinstate application by submitting a draft, rather than her combing through prior writing, so she can judge an author’s work through what they’d write for Publishous, rather than what they’d write for other pubs.
I also suggested she add a diversity statement to the submission guidelines, making it clear she welcomes LGBTQ writers to write about the publication’s topics.
I hope she’ll consider these suggestions.
I also shared this perspective with her:
“One thing we LGBTQ folks are hyperaware of is a portrayal of us as hypersexual. Like, just as life as a straight person isn’t just about sex, life as a queer person isn’t just about sex. But stories involving queer relationships or queer kids are often portrayed as fringe or sexual or controversial, when they’re just stories about life or parenting or marriage or whatever.”