Thanks the excellent Writer Beware Blog for a heads-up about Undead Press. Writer Mandy DeGuit submitted a story to an anthology published by Undead Press and when she got her copy she was astonished to find they had made big changes including giving the main character a memory of animal abuse and adding a suggestion of rape at the end.
When she wrote to the publisher to complain, here is what he answered:
"it clearly says publisher has the right to EDIT work. you signed it. are you saying you are a dishonest and immoral person and will now try to deny you signed the contract? well i have a copy right here and as for the story. the editor had a hard time with it, it was very rough and he did alot (sic) to make it readable. despite what you think, your writing has a long way to go before its worthy of being printed professionally. we did what we had to do to make the story printable. you should be thankful, not complaining. ah, the ungrateful writer, gotta love it"
Hmm, if a story is not ready to be printed, how about rejecting it?
Apparently other authors have had similar issues.
I wouldn't be caught dead submitting anything to a publisher with the attitude of Anthony Giangregorio of Undead Presss. How about you?
(What does Chekhov advise about showing rather than telling? You'll find out in my newest book, "Your Creative Writing Masterclass," published by Nicholas Brealey and available now from Amazon or your other favorite bookseller.)