Do Not Submit to Narrative Magazine
Hi- I came across this blog and think your readers might be interested in submitting their work to Narrative Magazine- it publishes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art-- everything! And they also have some writing contests going on now that your readers might be interested in. Thanks!
Personally, I rather think they wouldn't, or at least shouldn't.
Narrative Magazine requires a reading fee for submissions, so as a professional writer I would actively discourage anyone at any level -- and especially if you're still starting out -- from ever submitting to it. Money should always flow to the writer, period. Any magazine, agency or imprint that asks for a reading fee is reversing that flow -- to all intents and purposes, asking a writer to pay for the privilege of a mere hope of publication. While some might seek to justify reading fees in this or that circumstance, I'm in the camp with many others who say, loudly and clearly, FUCK THAT SHIT. Particularly in this sort of example.
Regardless of whether actual publication is paid, that reading fee places Narrative Magazine in the realm of vanity press and poetry chapbook competition scams. You will most likely not see publication, and will instead simply be out of pocket by the reading fee. Which is to say you will have been rooked, amigos.
All aspiring writers should consider the generally vast slush pile that they are most likely just another speck within. But even on the odd chance that one is lucky enough to earn back that reading fee via acceptance you should then be aware that your good fortune is literally at the expense of all those who have paid money for the privilege of being read (by those who may well already have quite sufficient material for the next few issues, thank you very much, but hey, that's not going to stop them taking your twenty bucks, sucker.) You are leeching off all those who have succeeded only in subsidising the hobbies of the editors and their contributors, all those who have ultimately been treated as dupes to be reamed to support this project. Personally, I consider this a profoundly unethical venture.
I would submit to the most miniscule small press magazine that paid in copies, even to a webzine that could barely afford $5 per story -- hell, I'd submit to certain non-paying markets where a positive return might be gained in the form of exposure, or publish my work free on this blog -- before I would submit to Narrative Magazine, and I'd highly recommend all my readers do the same.
Moreover, Jordan, the stone cold fact that your comment is revealed by Google to be outright spam -- posted verbatim on other blogs -- not only strengthens my suspicion of Narrative Magazine to outright condemnation, but leads me to leave your comment on that post as evidence -- and in fact to repost it here to highlight it -- along with my public response, in no uncertain terms:
If you are reading this as an aspiring writer, please do not ever submit to Narrative Magazine. They are demonstrably spammers and almost certainly scammers and are to be avoided like the fucking plague.
Update: Oh, and while you're at it, do feel free to click through this link to Eric Rosenfield's journal entry about Narrative Magazine and its editors, which expresses a similarly low opinion of these fuckers and contains a number of comments that put them in an even darker light. And deserves to be nice and high in the Google hits, I'd say.
Update Update: And what do you know, but the winner of one of last year's competitions seems to have been a friend of the editors!