November 27th, 2012 / 3:24 pm

Dear Narrative Magazine: Please Die in a Fire (Also, Kindly Remove Me from Your Mailing List)

Dear Narrative Magazine,

Recently, I began to receive e-mails promoting your publication, in spite of the fact that I have never in any way expressed interest in you or what you do. I have never submitted to your magazine (because you are clearly a scam operation) and I have never given you any reason to believe I might do so in the future. I have never read anything in your pages, because I detest you. There is simply no ethical means by which you could have obtained my e-mail.

When you began sending me spam, I attempted to unsubscribe from your mailing list. I spoke to other writers who hold you in similar disregard, and they said that they had been trying to unsubscribe from your mailing list for months, and that it was impossible. You wouldn’t leave them alone. I sent you several hateful tweets (because I hate you). I unsubscribed again just to make sure. Maybe I unsubscribed a third time? I don’t remember.

Today I received another spam e-mail from you. I do not admire your tenacity. You are pond scum. I can ignore this fact when you aren’t spamming me but I can’t when you  are. My e-mail address is mike(d0t)meginnis(at)gmail(dot)com. Take it off your mailing list immediately. (I mean it. This is not optional. You are going to do this now.)

I invite anyone else who would like Narrative Magazine to stop e-mailing them to post about it in the comments. (Dear Narrative: These other e-mails won’t be optional either.)

With All My Contempt,

Mike Meginnis.


  1. Nick Mamatas


  2. Chris Roberts

      So cool. Fuck HTML NOBODIES.

  3. Blake Butler

      create a gmail filter that sends msgs from their address straight to the trash. i did that several years ago and haven’t thought about it since.

  4. Mike Meginnis

      Blake, you’re being entirely too reasonable.

  5. Blake Butler
  6. HolidayInnExpress

      Robert “Batshit Crazy” Olen Butler, who lost his wife to Ted Turner’s harem, is in the most recent issue. Do you think he paid the $20 submission fee? No. But you did, just so Narrative Magazine could pay Robert Olen Butler, who obviously needed the money. Take heart, though: you get three months of “free” web content!

  7. rawbbie

      I love that in one of the old posts about narrative Mike says in the comments: Narrative Magazine: the Magazine that Ate Blake Butler’s Motherfucking Dick.

  8. Brooks Sterritt

      i think he just described Narrative as “so cool.”

  9. Mike Meginnis

      Haha. Oh man. I also love that.

  10. Ryan Ridge

      One time I paid the fifteen bucks to submit one of those six word stories. My story was called “Narrative” and it read:


      Messages from Narrative in my Spam.

      It got rejected quickly but they did give me three months of complimentary access to Narrative Backstage. I never went Backstage though because I didn’t want to know what they were doing back there. I figured they were sacrificing livestock or something so I kept my distance and I still do, but every now and again their messages slip through my Spam Filter and I feel afraid of the inevitable.

      Yes, the older I get the less I fear death, but I’m still deeply, deeply afraid of Narrative Magazine, because if they win then they’ve succeeded and if they’ve succeeded then literature has been reduced to dollars, which at this point in human history is almost worthless. But that hasn’t happened and I doubt it will.

  11. Tom McAllister

      lately I’ve been trying to come up with something intelligent to say about Narrative, but every time I think about what a shitty operation that magazine is, I get all tripped up on my own rage and end up just drinking some bourbon and writing mean things on Twitter, which is probably the most pitiful form of vengeance in the universe. Still, though– fuck those guys.

  12. William VanDenBerg

      He also talks smack about Annie Dillard. Let’s get him!

  13. deadgod

      Email advertising? I like email advertising! I’ll have email advertising, email advertising, email advertising, email advertising, fish scales, cactus thorns, and email advertising, please.

  14. Brooks Sterritt

      i’m not as averse to that kind of smack talking :)

  15. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      OLDEN TIMES. I miss them.

  16. ZacharyTylerVickers

      I actually invented a new gmail address and use that as the Narrative account address, so that their spam would just filter into this dumpster. However, their system has AI. I continue to receive emails at my actual email address even though it has been deleted from their system.

  17. Caryn Rose

      You can forward unwanted email(s) to the FTC at