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Everything wrong with publishing: A letter to three "editors" at The Atlantic

Sunday 10/31/21

This is a letter that went off to three people at The Atlantic: Scott Stossel, Ann Hulbert, and Adriene LeFrance, on which many other people were cc'ed. Scott Stossel is as weak, deceitful, cowardly, and as broken a person as there is in publishing, who has been hooked up his entire life by people who pity him, give him things he has never earned, and provide handouts for him because he comes from the right kind of "stock," in their system of classism. No one takes him seriously as a person or writer. He's like a rich, pretentious person's charity case. Scott Stossel couldn't hack his job as editor in chief of The Atlantic, so they made up a position for him so that they could carry him some more, and pay him lots of money for doing nothing. Ann Hulbert, literary editor of The Atlantic, is discrimination and incompetence incarnate. Executive editor Adrienne LaFrance is like a hole that walks around; as empty as empty gets, simply filling, as such, a title at a venue that is a kind of vanity project that loses many millions of dollars a year.


What is going to happen here--because the backstory is lengthy and shocking with The Atlantic--is that I'll put up this letter, just to get started. A letter, of course, that was not responded by any of these three people, because, as we've seen time and again, guilty is guilty. People know when they are guilty. Scott Stossel once even threatened me, after he screwed me over with a job he dangled in my face, only to disappear exactly when he said he'd be around, and sabotaging me, by writing in an email that if I told the truth about what he did, I'd never work for The Atlantic again.


But as I said yesterday, that's meaningless. These three had already taken care of that--for the time being--and it's also meaningless at a place like this is ultimately going to need me more than I need it. People leave, people are fired, houses are cleaned, leverage changes, careers change, systems come down, and I am not some ordinary writer with ordinary writer stuff, nor some ordinary person. So that really means nothing to me.


This, though, means something to them. The "this" being the truth coming out. We are talking something that went on for years, as I sat back and took it. I took the abuse, the lies, the discrimination. I took it all politely. I took it all and thanked them for making me take it and took it some more and kept trying not even to be treated fairly, but not 100% unfairly. A letter such as this is the foundation. It beings a person's journey in this journal. The journey comes to a close, as I've also said, when the problem is corrected, and justice is served. Not before then. "Jane" is arts editor Jane Yong Kim, who is quite the unprofessional hack herself, completely clueless, with no integrity, no knowledge, no skill, and just an evil child masquerading as an editor.


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Remember--you took this here, Scott.

https://www.colinfleminglit.com/post/everything-wrong-with-publishing-scott-stossel-of-the-atlantic

And also Ann. And Adrienne. For years I wrote for The Atlantic. Then Stossel led me on about a job. I have his emails. Including where he threatens me, if I was to say the truth about what had happened--how I'd be banned from The Atlantic. Which is a moot point.

I didn't get worse at writing. There is no one doing what I'm doing. But no one would write me back about anything. Yet, some class of '20 Bridgewater State grad would go right in. I mean, come on.

I offered amazing works of fiction. "Fitty," "Girls of the Nimbus," "Dead Thomas," "Transitionings." Nothing. Not a note. Ann, I understood your technique--you'd only reply if something had already been assigned or was about to be, so you could go, "Oh, someone is thinking about doing that." I asked both you and Adrienne many times--which is the last thing I wish to do, working twenty hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year--who the fiction editor was.

A simple question. From a long-time contributor, who had become the devil. A kind person who did nothing to anyone. And you wouldn't answer.

I know how Paul Yoon got that story in there. I know a lot. Stossel accepted a story, saying it'd be a matter of when it could run, and if there was an emphasis to include more fiction. And there was. And you, Ann, sent me a rude, curt note saying that you wouldn't be using it, no explanation, but Stossel said you had found some "hot shit writer from Argentina"--his exact words--and she was going in, and that was why.

Jane won't write me back? For a basic $200 web piece? What kind of twisted freeze out was that? Is all of it? And you thought I'd just sit back and do nothing?

I am not going to stop until I have justice. I'll just keep putting out the truth.