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On Cheating:

My point is that Michael Derrick Hudson could have found a more effective way to promote his poetry, or so it seems to me. His strategy would never have occurred to me: There has to be some honor, even among thieves. But it is a strategy, however misguided, and strategy is what is required to compete in this very small game. My small submission ruses were hardly innovative. The obstacles erected by publications could be disrupted more cleverly and quite without the racial clamminess for which he opted. I encourage all poets and short fictions writers to find them. Code-writing writers should game the electronic submission portals, and figure out a way to automatically shuffle a story to the top of the digital pile. Bribery seems an option (if you’re submitting to me), although since most literary publications pay nothing or next to it, I can’t imagine the point. And if, as Hudson implies, race wins out then win the race race, I guess. Yet I bet it doesn’t, even for him. His 49 rejections—40 white, 9 non—strikes me as far from conclusive evidence. Besides, what I’m counseling is cheating: You don’t have to be an asshole. The submission process is a rigged casino game, though, and all is fair in love and literary magazines.

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[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

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