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Please Sign this Open Letter

Open Letter Regarding Discriminatory Practices by Literary Journals

September 2023

Information about discriminatory submission requirements was recently reported to FAIR about federally-funded literary journals. While many journals offer to waive submission fees in order to accommodate authors and artists facing economic hardships, many are unfortunately conflating economic need with race, skin color, or ancestry, thereby providing differential pricing to authors and artists based on their immutable traits. When entities receive Federal financial assistance, this discriminatory practice violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (and, as applicable, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, from which Title VI is derived). 

Following the decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard/UNC, the law is clear: “[e]liminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it. And the Equal Protection Clause … applies ‘without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality’ – it is ‘universal in [its] application.”

We are proud to have sent formal legal letters to 17 literary journals to notify them of their violations and to ask them to amend their submission requirements in order to treat all authors and artists equally. But we are not stopping there.

Nearly all literary journals currently use Submittable.com to receive submissions for publication. Submittable.com’s Customer Terms of Service require its customers to adhere to the rights of third parties. So we are asking influential thought leaders to join us in signing an open letter to Submittable.com’s CEO, asking that the company notify its literary journal customers that they may not provide differential treatment to users based on race, skin color, or national origin. We hope that once the journals in question correct their submission requirements, they will continue to accept submissions via the Submittable.com platform freely. 

We recognize the vital role that literary journals play in amplifying the voices and work of up-and-coming authors and artists. We hope you agree that all individuals should be treated equally and should not face discriminatory treatment based on their skin color or ancestry. 

Please join us and so many influential thought leaders in signing our open letter below,

Signatories

Stella O’Malley
FAIR Advisor

Alan Kors
Historian, Journalist, Author, Co-founder of FIRE

Michael Shellenberger
Bestselling author of “Apocalypse Never” & “San Fransicko,” Time, “Hero of the Environment,” Green Book Award Winner

Monica Harris
Activist. Author. Lawyer. FAIR Advisor

Jonathan Kay
Editor, Quillette; Journalist; FAIR Advisor

Angel Eduardo
Writer, Musician, Photographer, Designer

Brent Morden
Director, FAIR in the Arts

Ilya Shapiro
Director of Constitutional Studies, Manhattan Institute

Jefferson Shupe
Author, Bathwater Brigade

Erec Smith
Associate Professor of Rhetoric/President of Free Black Thought/Research Fellow for the Cato Institute

Christopher Ferguson
Professor of psychology at Stetson University

Mark Buchanan
MD, FAIR in Medicine Fellow; internist and medical educator

Carrie D. Mendoza
MD Director, FAIR in Medicine

Reid Newton
FAIR Legal Analyst

Kimi Katiti
Interdisciplinary artist

Tabia Lee
Ed.D.

David King
Civil Liberties Advocate

Danele Rhoads
FAIR Connecticut Chapter Leader

Juliet Barenti

Brian Clate
FAIR Northern Connecticut Chapter Co-Lead / CPC and Owner/Founder of Awakened Explorations, LLC

Adrienne Ross Scanlan
Writer, Developmental Editor, Coach

Mary Keane
FAIR Network Attorney

Melissa Chen
Managing Director, Ideas Beyond Borders

Frederick Luskin
Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects

Claire Lehmann
Founder and Editor in Chief, Quillette, Contributor The Australian

Heather Blakeslee
Publisher & Editor in Chief, Root Quarterly

Greg Thomas
Writer & CEO of the Jazz Leadership Project

Leigh Ann O’Neill
Managing Director of Legal Advocacy, FAIR

Gregory W. Brown
Brown & Gavalier, PLLC, Charlottesville, Virginia

Richard T. Bosshardt
MD, FACS

Aida Cerundolo
MD

Zander Keig
Owner, Keig Consulting LLC

Lauren H. Schwartz
MD

Robert F. Graboyes
Economist, journalist, and publisher of Bastiat’s Window on Substack

Stephanie Guerra
FAIR Managing Director of Education

Gavin Coon
FAIR Operations & Outreach Associate

Grayson Slover
FAIR Editor and Policy Analyst

Laureen Boll
State Coordinator for FAIR Colorado

A. Huntley
Faith and Culture Blogger

Paul Gilbert
FAIR Colorado Chapter, Civil Rights Advocate

Sabrina Roffman
LMHC

Jodi Hailey

Michelle Pollino
Writer, Journalist, Film Producer

Kathy Adamson

Clifton Duncan
Actor, Writer, Podcaster

Sign the Letter

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