Tabulit and Fair Trade Literature

slip back move forwardShort story collections, cyber-publications, literary magazines, online journals … getting a story published in any one of these places is exciting. Seeing your story in print feels good, and being paid for it as well feels even better, even if the payment is only at a semi-professional or token rate rather than the full five cents per word (still not a huge amount of money) that “pro markets” pay. I am pleased and grateful to have received such payments from the wonderful magazines and anthologies that have published my stories, publications who are themselves struggling, often with unpaid staff doing a labour of love.

I often wonder if it has to be this way, with editors and slush-readers working for free, and writers trying to eek out a living labouring at their craft early in the morning or late at night, around the “day” jobs they need to buy groceries and pay the rent. I think about living in one of those utopian worlds I like to read and write about, where writers and other artists are considered valuable members of our society, where art is recognized as necessary to a full human life, where creators of art are paid — perhaps in money, perhaps in barter with bread and housing, tools and pottery, wine and roses.

Recently, I learned about a new platform for publishing literature called Tabulit. Tabulit believes that writers should be able to earn a reliable income from their writing and acts on this belief by paying their writers a very substantial percentage of royalties while doing their best to promote the literature on their site. Tabulit is also innovative, with many ideas for using new approaches and technologies. They have begun by publishing short fiction and series (yes, serialization is back!), and hope to soon add poetry and graphic novels and perhaps even more interactive forms of storytelling.

But I will let them speak for themselves by directing you to an article on their blog containing their manifesto.

Meanwhile, I am pleased to announce that Tabulit has republished my short story “Slip Back, Move Forward.” This is a time travel story about a young man named Yusef who moves between a legal rights clinic in a near-future Montréal to when he was ten years old in Times Square, just post-9/11. To read this story, simply register with Tabulit where you will receive free tokens that can “open” stories. If you like what you see, you can purchase more tokens. Check out my story here or by first going to the site and registering. Hope you enjoy it!