LitRecapper: Courting Controversy In Week Three


We had an eventful week here at the Reactor of Lit, and it wasn't without controversy. Members flexed their commenting muscles as they took umbrage with some of our more snarky news posts- most notably our low blow pot shot at Tyra Banks, which will henceforth be referred to as Tyragate. There were also issues with politics and editorializing in posts about Herman Cain and Bill O'reilly. It's funny- people complain about junk news items, yet those are the posts that rack up the comments. They say stick to articles about writing and writerly things, yet not a single person commented on our post about National Day On Writing or our Philip Roth Primer. You know the saying, "You catch more flies with honey?" Well, apparently you catch more flies with shit. (Not saying our writers have been churning out shit. You guys are doing a kick-ass job with the news!)

Fortunately, everyone behaved like adults and an open and honest dialog ensued. So continue to make your opinions known, LitReactors. We appreciate your input, even when we don't see eye to eye.

In news of the non-controversial variety, Richard Thomas' inaugural Storyville column (Finding Your Voice) did a brisk business, as did Tina's Top 10 Scenes To Bring You Terrorsleep.  We also featured a new interview with Chuck Palahniuk on the release of Damned, and yet another classic craft essay by Mr. Craig Clevenger.

Speaking of improving your craft, as of the writing of this post, there are only two spots left in Holiday Reinhorn's Embracing The Practice class. So if you're considering signing up, time's a wastin'! Class will be in session on October 24th, with or without your sweet ass.

Over at the Leaderboard, Meachman and Brandon continue to dominate. And congrats to tattoojunkie for cracking the top five. We currently have over 100 people reviewing workshop submissions, so get involved! On the flip side, our current most reviewed submission is Richard's Flowers For Jessica, which has an impressive 20 reviews.

That's about it for this edition. Log in next week for more of the good stuff, including an overview of the Wicked universe, a column from the author of Gods and Monsters, Scenes To Bring You Terrorsleep part 2, and some (hopefully) less provocative news posts (but don't hold us to that). Have a weekend, people!

Joshua Chaplinsky

News by Joshua Chaplinsky

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor. He is the author of The Paradox Twins (CLASH Books), the story collection Whispers in the Ear of A Dreaming Ape, and the parody Kanye West—Reanimator. His short fiction has been published by Vice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Severed Press, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Broken River Books, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @jaceycockrobin. More info at and

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miraculousmeaningless's picture
miraculousmeani... from Washburn, WI is reading your mind October 23, 2011 - 9:23am

I don't think the amount of comments necessarily reflects the popularity or usefulness of a given post. I try not to post anything unless I really have something to say, and there have definitely been some awesome posts that I read and benefited from but didn't comment on. I've read almost every news post, I think.

Regarding the Tyra post, I just don't like the idea that it would alienate someone from the community, and I felt that the complaints I saw were legitimate. I don't know shit about Tyra Banks, so for all I know she really is a class A stupid bitch who deserves a good online writing community flogging, but when I clicked the article, I seriously did so with my mind open to the idea that a supermodel may very well be competent enough to produce a literary work worthy of my attention, or at least something that isn't as utterly pathetic as her book apparently is (I still haven't checked it out, heh) and I guess my deal is this:  Why draw our attention to something you feel is absolute garbage? Who cares? Of course there are people out there publishing half-assed no-talent ass clown books, and of course there are celebrities I don't give a shit about publishing books. To me, these things just aren't really newsworthy. To see a post I view as largely useless (outside its ability to incite thoughtful debate, I guess) driving people away from the community is kind of depressing.

I say all this with the utmost respect for the community, and for Brandon Tietz. Thanks, and kudos to you guys for appreciating the feedback for what it is.


Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine October 23, 2011 - 10:22am

You're absolutely right about comments. When I check the stats, the posts with the most are not necessarily the most read.

As for the post not being newsworthy, that is debatable and is currently being debated by the LitReactor readers. Regardless of my opinion, we certainly don't want to alienate anyone, and the idea that we might have is being taken very seriously.

lyndonriggall's picture
lyndonriggall from Tasmania is reading Going Bovine by Libba Bray October 24, 2011 - 12:06am

I've loved all the articles so far, so no complaints from me. While it's still to do with books and writing you can choose whatever news you like!