Shadowy organization publishes blacklist of writers who track down con-artists

One of the better services provided by the Science Fiction Writers of America is Writer Beware, maintained by Victoria Strauss and Ann Crispin, which lists scammy vanity publishers, book doctors, fake agents and other entities devoted to separating hopeful writers from their money.

Predictably, Writer Beware has attracted a lot of approbation from the people who appear in its annals, and this, in turn has spawned a mysterious website called "The Write Agenda," a front for shadowy, pseudonymous individuals who purport to be a writers' group that seeks to correct the record as set out by Writer Beware. The Write Agenda includes a blacklist of writers who spoken out in favor of Writer Beware, as well incoherent bilious rants about those who make it their hobby to expose scammers and con-artists.

I woke up this morning to discover that The Write Agenda has added my friend John Scalzi to its boycott list, but not me. Frankly, I'm jealous.

Unlike those who are going out of their way to trash Victoria, Ann and Writer Beware, I’m not hiding behind of phalanx of apparently fake groups, names and social media accounts — I’m an actual live person, actually working professionally in the writing industry, who actually knows Ann and Victoria and who has benefited from the hard work they have put into Writer Beware. If Writer Beware’s long and honorable history of sticking up for writers — and sticking it to scammers — isn’t enough to convince you of its good works, consider this my personal endorsement.

Returning to The Write Agenda, I’ll note that I myself am on its Author Boycott List. I could not possibly be prouder of this particular achievement of mine. As far as I can see it means that when it comes to being someone who speaks out for authors against those who would scam and deceive them, I am on the side of the angels — as are, I will note, rather a healthy number of writers and publishing industry professionals who I consider friends and colleagues. Indeed, I suspect that soon a number of other authors I know will go examine the list and be positively hurt they are not on the boycott list as well. I say: Try harder, my friends. Apparently all you need to do to get on the list is inform new and emerging writers about scammers, predators, and possibly also their deceptive front organizations. If you want to know how to get started on that, check with Writer Beware. It has some ideas for you.


  1. I’m sure it’s a lousy vanity publisher. It’d be fun to see them exposed similar to that Pornwikileaks douchebag.

  2. Who would even pay attention to this blacklist except the vanity publishers and scammers themselves who it seems do about as much reading as they do proofreading.

  3. “approbation” s/b “opprobrium” unless you meant to say that their attacks serve as a compliment.

  4. As a new writer currently shopping agents, I appreciate Mark’s taking the time to inform me about Writer Beware and the braying jackasses at The Write Agenda.

    I hope this comment is enough to get you blacklisted, Mark. I never thought I’d say something like that in a positive way, but here we are.

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