I’m afraid many publications are jumping on the bandwagon to charge writers reading fees.
But, in your view, what is the difference between a fee contest by a publication and charging a submission fee?
The difference between a contest and charging a reading fee is that people who enter contests know it’s a contest, and are paying for participation.
Writers wanting to get published are, in essence, applying for a temporary freelance assignment (a contract job). People applying for work should not be expected to pay to apply.
If it was presented as a “contest,” that would be far more honest but it’s not. Instead, they say they need the fees to pay for their system, blah blah. They’re just profiting off of writers, which is wrong. Dead wrong.
At WritersWeekly.com, we are FAR smaller than most of the publications charging reading fees, and have far fewer resources, yet we’ve never charged any reading fees and we’ve published thousands of articles over the years (and rejected tens of thousands). We accept email submissions and print submissions. Electronic submissions are faster and cheaper to handle. Using that as an excuse to charge writers is ludicrous.