Thank You and a Beware Warning

The Mean Girls of High School Now "Grown" and Still Exhibiting Their Rage

Once again, thanks to our many supporters who won't stop talking about the absolutely ridiculous and insulting behavior on Absolute Write. We understand that you wish to communicate backchannel, however, please feel free to post here anonymously. Your ID will not be known or shared in any manner.

This is necessary to prevent anyone from Absolute Write gaining enough knowledge to effectively retaliate against you or anyone else.

You guys are simply and terrifically wonderful!

Best Wishes,

W.A.R. Admins

Latest Reviews on the Complaints Board

The Regime Endures and the Hostility Continues - Lest we Forget Part II

From the Sitejabbber review board (removed from the mainstream net by AW):

Rebecca H. Tells a True and Sad Tale

I was a member there on and off for quite some time. Met some great critique partners there, but sadly, the moderators and their minions have a way of running people off the boards. They are abusive to the members and will ban/suspend anyone who defends against the abuse. I've watched it happen to too many good people. If you prove one of their lies wrongs, they will delete your post and ban you. They are using their power to hide the truth. What is worse is that they then start rumors and/or misrepresent new authors and publishing houses.

This is where my most recent receive comes into play.
After seeing how they treated others, I long since left, but as I started a new publishing house, a thread was started there, and so I revisited to answer some questions. The moderator (VeinGlory) approached the situation that was very clearly to everyone witnessing attack. Anyone who posted to say that and defend our publishing house had their post immediately deleted; anyone who agreed with VeinGlory had their posts remain.

This created a false sense of what the community as a whole thought of our publishing house. If anyone doubts this, contact me and I can send you references for our publishing house, and you will see clearly that there are no posts from them on absolutewrite. There is a deceitful reason for this. They said that my editing experience, having assisted several authors previously into print deals with publishers in good standing, was not enough to prove we know what we are doing.

They said that our first book being a 5-star, bestseller, did not count.

They called the author of that bestselling novel an "aspiring author" and that, to them, was further evidence we don't know what we are doing (can anyone explain the logic on that one?)

They said that ranking in the top 1% on editing skills tests also did not count.

My experience in business, having helped my husband set up and run a successful business, does not count if I don't offer proof. I offered the only proof I can (proof of income and assets) and they ignored that and moved onto the next thing to attack us for. Several times throughout the conversation, and politely requested they just let us do our thing. Withhold judgment until they had more to go on. Let others decide for themselves. But they would not let it go. On and on they went. They denied they were attacking us and every time someone said otherwise, they deleted that person's post and banned their account. They claimed THAT person was attacking THEM ... but that they were not attacking me. The reality is, they are attacking us, and this is not the first time they have done this. And they feel they are allowed to do this but no one else is allowed to say contrary. The "gang mentality" there is frightening.

The reality is, as veinglory showed in the thread with one of her comments, that a small pub once shut down without paying her the money they owed. I am so sorry that happened to her. But our business works on available funds and not credit, which means we don't spend money we don't have, and any money that comes in for a book will go directly to the author (we don't have creditors to repay!)

Veinglory says we won't be around in 2 years. I asked her to check back with us in 2 years, then, but apparently it's actually her MISSION to spend the next two years making that happen. We will not be deterred, but I did want to bring this to light in a place where Veinglory is nor a moderator who can delete the evidence.

If you are an author looking for background information on a publisher that is based on fact and is NOT biased, try preds and eds instead. They investigate and go based on fact, not whim.



Janet Reid, Literary Agent: Query Question: Absolute Write

Aug 18, 2014 - With a simple Google search of "bullying on AbsoluteWrite" a variety of results come up where people talk about their experiences. Now I'm ...

Exposing Absolute Write by providing evidence of defamation, cyber bullying, malware infections, and damaging advice given to writers.
January · ‎February · ‎March · ‎April

Why I'm done with AbsoluteWrite (Or: the post that lets two dozen ...

Mar 31, 2014 - It's not like I hadn't been warned about AbsoluteWrite before I signed up. ... warrant rating about AW on a site about internet bullying of authors.

Haters Gonna Hate: The Smear Campaign Against Absolute Write

Write Absolute Reviews of Bully Boards calls me the Tariq Aziz of Absolute Write" and Absolute Blight styles me "a totally paranoid wingnut and cyberstalker, ...

Forums Review: Absolute Write

That breeds cliques and makes other posters feel like there's special treatment. Absolute Write is just like that. They allow bullies to mod. They also allow cliques ...

The Cult - Absolute Write Water Cooler | DarkMarkets

Feb 19, 2010 - At the Absolute Write forums, you'll learn more about the craft of writing and ... What if the Absolute Write Water Cooler is the bully and the liar?

MacAllister Stone (@AbsoluteWrite) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from MacAllister Stone (@AbsoluteWrite). Sentimental ... I organized an elementary school playground uprising to ambush a playground bully.

Website Complaints & Reviews - Complaints Board

Consumer complaints, reviews and opinions about website.

In the Post #Metoo Era, Male Writers and Authors and Anyone Who Supports Them are Strongly at Risk on Internet Forums like Absolute Write

Given the amount of males writers and established authors who have been smeared and had their reps ruined by #metoo-like accusations in various forums, we are issuing a LIFE RISK ADVISORY to all male writers and authors who participate in hostile and often malevolent talk boards like Absolute Write--especially since AW has demonstrated such hostilities and aggressive attacks on male writers (as well as female writers) in the recent past.

The evidence for this type of caustic behavior is pervasive (Google "Absolute Write complaints" or "bullying" or click our links on the left nav bar), only now, male writers are at more risk for being smeared on Internet in such a way that will cost them their jobs and reputations.

Again, just a warning. The risk is yours take. If nothing else, make certain you use a pseudo and cover your tracks.

W.A.R. Staff

The Regime Endures and the Hostility Continues - Lest we Forget

First published on the Complaints Board (along with many other complaints about Absolute Write):


The advice is juvenile and hardly critical or informed...incompetent in many ways. 

I was a member of AW for a while, and I find myself going back every few months to check up on some of the horrible discussions. The advice is juvenile and hardly critical or informed, incompetent in many ways... Any opinion given as advice that challenges this status quo in any way is immediately dismissed, as though there were one way in which fiction must be undertaken, and one way only.

I have also gotten into EXTREMELY passive aggressive debates with other users and mods on several occasions, and, although that is the lay of the land when it comes to internet forums, there tends to be causes to incite such exchanges. On AW, no such causes are needed. It is also important to note that the vast majority of advice being given is coming from fellow amateur/unpublished writers, many who are far too inexperienced in both life and actual writing to possibly have the perspective to form good critical advice, and many of whom clearly don't read books--how are they expected to write?!?

I would put good money on 75% of the users not even knowing who Borges is, and these are people who are supposed to be giving legitimate advice? Their credibility isn't helped by the fact that several of the published authors on the site are self-published (not inherently bad), and most of the published works (both self and not) are horrible supernatural romance/horror romance/fantasy romance (notice a trend?), the kind with well built white vampire dudes on the cover.

Again, nothing inherently bad about this fact, except that, to me, the trendy YA/teenage audience these cookie-cutter works cater to is further evidence that they actively perpetuate and defend a kind of status quo, in which anything that challenges the fiction they write is artsy/pointless/breaking nonexistent rules/evil.
Thankfully, I can say in the few years I was with them back in the day, I gained a few pointers on how NOT to teach someone, and, now that I'm an English tutor at my college, I hope to do what AW can only dream of doing--actually helping someone improve their work with thoughtful criticism.
Further proof that many of the users are incapable of reading critically, including mods: I tend to word my posts very carefully, using very specific vocabulary and always prefacing and qualifying what I am saying with caveats and so forth, so as to allow for the possibility of my opinion on said writing subject not meshing well with others, so anyone who puts a smallest amount of effort into reading it will be able to understand I am offering a single perspective on an otherwise all-encompassing issue. Yet I would get post after post, some from mods themselves, dismissing and attacking points I made, almost always ones I prefaced with something like "to NEEDLESSLY do this is bad", as if I did not go out of my way to state clearly that I did not mean what I said as an "absolute" truth. If the people meant to be giving advice cannot even read an internet post carefully enough to grasp what was actually said, I doubt their ability to truly help anyone.

Thankfully, I can say in the few years I was with them back in the day, I gained a few pointers on how NOT to teach someone, and, now that I'm an English tutor at my college, I hope to do what AW can only dream of doing--actually helping someone improve their work with thoughtful criticism.

Bad Reviews Tell the True Story

Type "absolute write complaints" in Google and see the article, "Haters Gonna Hate" by Victoria Strauss to get the other side of this ongoing debate regarding the validity and cyberbully nature of Absolute Write. The writers associated with this blog would like to thank Victoria Strauss for battling the troll so bravely and also for advertising our blog and the many other websites calling out the owners and mods at AW for their behavior.

[TO THOSE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT ABSOLUTE WRITE: in this post and others, we are not talking about the beneficial aspects of a writer board like AW, we are discussing an end to the non-beneficial aspects. It is like we're talking about Philly or Oakland in the context of ending rampant corruption and crime. We know there are good places to eat and Barbara Streisand will concert tour, but we want the mayor to surrender to the FBI. And because there are those who have expressed puzzlement, here is a page that lists all the reasons why we maintain this blog. Thank you.]

To anyone reading this blog. If you are neutral or undecided on the issue of Absolute Write bullying, then go to Google. Type in "absolute write reviews" and see for yourself. Scores and scores of bad reviews.

Absolute Write has more stinging bad reviews than any writer, author, workshop, or agent website on the Internet. In point of fact, it has far more bad reviews from more sources than all of the aforementioned put together.

Whether it's a bad restaurant, crooked car dealership, or rip-off vanity press, you see bad reviews collect in significant numbers over time, and on multiple websites. The pattern is always the same.

This same pattern reveals Absolute Write for what it really is.

Make your own decision.

Is That Legal? Here We Go Again! The Endless March of iPredators on Absolute Write Forums - Their Pathology and How to Spot Them

I should have heeded my instincts when I first went to participate, and kept running into snide, nasty remarks in amongst all kinds of rules. The site is far from conducive to learning how to write, as you soon find you must tiptoe around and make sure you grovel for the "mods", who all run the site with threats and intimidation. I'm not sure what their deal is, but they all have a serious case of self-appointed tin-plated godliness, full of themselves and delusions of grandeur.

All this came about because of my complaint that the members are being held hostage, without being warned when they register, that you CANNOT delete your account and dissociate yourself from THEM. That was my sin...but it is the TRUTH. It's the only website I've ever been to where I cannot free myself, my name, any info they have, from their clutches. Is that legal?

 - Complaints Board

What is An iPredator?

Definition as follows: "A person, group, or nation who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, coercion, stalking, theft, or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
  • iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power and control, retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance or personal and financial gain.
  • iPredators can be any age or gender and are not bound by economic status, race, religion, or national heritage.
  • Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber harasser, cybercriminal, online sexual predator, cyber terrorist, and internet troll or engaged in cyber deception, they fall within the scope of iPredator.

iPredator Behavior on Absolute Write

Below are a select number of intelligent and insightful reviews by writers who have run afoul of Absolute Write iPredators, or who have observed the cyberbullying of others on Absolute Write forums. Some wish to remain anonymous due to fear of their reputations and livelihoods being smeared in retaliation by Absolute Write owners, moderators, and their various followers (or whatever you wish to term them).

We encourage everyone from attorneys to social psyche researchers to take time and read these reviews carefully. The iPredator behavior patterns are apparent and predictable. The reviews represent a random sample taken from over a hundred critical reviews of Absolute Write and its culture.
All it takes is for one question to be asked, or one axe grinder to make an appearance, and the predators smell blood. A swarm of anonymous fairies and fops with ridiculous icons appear and begin fomenting themselves into leaps of logic, unfounded assumptions, and distortions of reality... 
I came to see it that on the whole the Absolute Write forums are an arena of juveniles acting out their fantasies and retaliatory urges on a continuing basis while honestly trying to give each other writer advice, and all the while watched over by people who are just mean spirited and unethical...

@Fiendish writer, no one is lying about Absolute Write. That place is a almost a sewer of negativity. The mods are bullies. They bash self-publishing. They are so pathetic. I don’t know why writers even bother going over there- to have themselves kept in check by a bunch of bums. That’s just my personal opinion, of course. I’ve never been in trouble there or been banned, but I saw how volatile that place was and got away quick. Nobody is lying. Everything they say about that place is true.

      - "The Last of Us" (comment thread)

I'm one to lurk before joining in, and after watching the mods tear apart people for NO reason, then egging on others to bash those people, then carrying on long after they chased the person from the site...yeah I think I will pass on joining in. I've never seen anything so vile. There is a definite "clique" there. The site is great for them, but it looks like it's near impossible to become part of their "in club". Whether I could get in with them or not, I don't think I'd want to because I won't stand behind such poor behavior. This has to be the worst writing community I've ever encountered.

     - The Complaints Board

It's pretty much just what you'd expect. A lot of bad-to-mediocre writers giving bad-to-mediocre advice to bad-to-mediocre wannabe writers... The mods are powertripping jerks, just as many of the other posters have said. I met a handful of nice people, but no reason to stick around. I never posted any work to be critiqued because honestly, so much of what was posted in the critique section was so bad and the advice that was given equally amateur... I just didn't feel like I'd gain anything from it that I didn't already know. And most of the advice from different critters was conflicting, anyway. 

     - Rachel W. - The Missing Sitejabber Reviews

Ironically these “websites / authors” are doing what they claim others are doing, taking advantage of people who are looking in good faith for facts and information, truthful information about the publishing industry. Their responses are reduced to internet babble. A mix of half truths, alleged facts and very personal un-professional remarks and behavior. They tend to be abusive, Holier then thou, and totally off the mark. ALL they have to do is PROVE what they post. Just saying they have “hundreds” of complaint isn’t going to cut it. People are fed up with that attitude. Courts are leaning heavily toward companies and individuals who are entitled to face their accusers and their alleged facts.

One poster stated that they’re “reaping what they sow” how true. All of sudden people are asking them questions about who they really are, besides mutual friends.

So why don’t they just tell the truth?

     - Publishing Facts

I’ve only been a member briefly, and found this blog by searching how to leave the AWWC. It’s horrible. I thought it was an open, honest forum to exchange ideas and learn. I found myself in the middle of backbiting, condescending, bitter people (including two Mods) who were not helpful at all and hide behind screen names.

How am I supposed to take career advice seriously from someone called SuperModerator, when I can’t tell if they’ve ever published anything? I asked a specific question, and when I questioned politely but firmly the uninformed and negative advice an anonymous writer gave, she harangued and condescended like a fishwife.

On another thread, she jumped into a productive discussion and tongue lashed not only me, but every contributor! Lord, it must’ve taken her half an hour just to quote every single one of us LOL It was a ludicrous critique: she said we “had to” provide evidence for everything we said. This, immediately after telling me one of her pets doesn’t have to provide any, and I am rude for asking. 

     - The Cult - Absolute Write Water Cooler (comments)

I will give give "Absolute Write" credit for one thing though, they're very intelligent people. You see, they solved the mystery of my age. Using their version of commonsense and deductive reasoning, they were able to figure out that I am a withering and wilted old man. In a thread on their forum, they were talking about me. As everyone who has been following me knows, my age has not only been a bully obsession, but has baffled them for centuries. It's really all they can talk about... I will go on record and say that I am not one hundred percent positive that "Absolute Write" is a scam, I have no concrete proof of it, but when the owner of the site lies about her real name, and address, and has been sued on multiple occasions, then all of the signs point to ---> Buyer Beware!

     - Carroll Bryant

The main focus of Absolute Write is the "Water Cooler", a huge forum which addresses authorship of any kind. It has begun to suffer from a typical ailment that creeps in most long-standing Internet forums: the dreaded Clique Mentality. This occurs when a relatively small set of users contributes the vast majority of posts, combined with a set of unwritten rules--which are often rather unclear to anybody else than the clique itself. Hapless outsiders who violate these clique conventions will often find a mob of old-standing users pounce upon them like a group of ravenous wolves. I'm not joking--it's not a pretty sight when it happens. I have seen posters on Absolute Write being bullied merely for disagreeing with a clique member on a fairly minor matter. 

 The mob will pull any trick to discredit an outsider: ridiculing, twisting words of out context, and fairly often rather nasty personal attacks. People with few to no publishing credentials will get told that their opinions are unimportant and that their writing "likely sucks."  The irony is that most clique members are themselves writers of mediocre fare dwindling in the lower parts of the midlist, if that ...

     - Anon : The Missing Alexa Reviews

As far as I'm concerned, if a site is run this way it has no value so I will ignore it and encourage everyone to ignore it. It is run by a bunch of lower mid-list (and that may be being generous) old biddies who have nothing better to do than to dictate their rules to others. Free speech does not exist on Absolute Write and where free speech does not exist, I will not go. They talk a good game about "respect your fellow writer" but take umbrage at things in an oversensitive way and pull that respect from you without a second thought.

    - Mark Breuer : No Irish, No DGs

If you're a member of Absolute Write, I guarantee you've seen the moderators sweep into a discussion where the topic is one of their pet peeves, use the unfortunate poster as a punching bag, invite long-time members to join them, and then lock the thread and sometimes boot the member. It's never a straightforward warning about the rules, or a request for clarification. The moderators are not there to facilitate discussion, they're there to drive the discussion. If it ventures out of the bounds they like, even if the discussion is polite, it gets locked if for no other reason than "attitude."

It took me about five minutes to gather some examples. I went to a single topic and looked through the first few pages for locked threads. To be fair, two of the threads I saw were locked for legitimate (at least, what most forum admins would consider legitimate) reasons: resurrecting ancient threads. The rest were examples of moderators treating members like garbage.

     - Absolute Wrong : Silencing the Lambs

So whatever the merits of the campaign against Absolute Write, or the motivations of those behind this campaign, I have to (reluctantly) say that those in charge of Absolute Write Water Cooler richly deserve it. In the short time that I had an identity on that board, I would cringe every time that I logged on, in anticipation of the latest gratuitous, public insult that the board moderators had lodged against me, along with the warning "don't you dare talk back, or it will turn out badly for you" (their exact words).

     - B.Q. : Haters Gonna Hate (Comments on Victoria Strauss Troll Battle)

This morning, we found out through a few book club members that a forum known as the Absolute Write Cooler had identified us as a fake. Apparently, this is because we don't have an "existence that isn't associated with this book blog. No one reports going to lunch with her, she didn't show her pet at a local cat show, she hasn't participated in a Walk For Life, she isn't listed in a graduating class."

Correct me if I am wrong, but my book blog should be about books and what I want to include. If you do not see what you want to see, that doesn't make me fake.

Then came the next disturbing element of this unfolding drama. So we've been certified as fake. The forum moderator HapiSofi bashed the book club in more than one thread. She was applauded for her 'detective' work. Absolute joy, that people find so many useful ways to spend their time. But one thing, was missing. Where is HapiSofi's contact information? From as far back as 2012, three characters appear in every thread together. HapiSofi, James McDonald and AliceShortCake. Then there are names like Old Hack, VeinGlory and Torgo. Again, no contact information, no social media links for most of these profiles.

     - Quality Reads UK


Absolute Write... So they made a set of forums for self pub. I rolled across them a couple of months ago, and was pretty horrified by what I saw: a large number of folks claiming to be industry experts deliberately spreading misinformation about what self publishing was, how best to go about it, and whether one could actually do it successfully (outside a few “outliers”). So I stepped in and started pointing out the flaws in the logic.

     - Kevin O. Mclaughlin

What frightens me as a rational person is that there are those who cannot understand why WAR and other sites are taking the time and effort to resist the kingdom of Absolute Write. What are they refusing to see? It is obvious that this is a combination protest and consciousness raising effort on the part of groups and people critical of the ongoing abuse, smears and cyberbullying. It is also a movement to curtail their behavior by any legal means necessary, as WAR says, and I agree with this. 

     - Lesley Cameron - The Consequence and Sad Truth of Hate (comments)

Beware. Absolute Write, in the hands of Lisa Spangenberg and her associates, is in effect a judge-jury-prosecutor platform, and one utilized on an almost daily basis to publicly humiliate, bash, defame and even scold people they have never met and do not know, as well as businesses they have never interacted with in any form whatsoever. All it takes is for one question to be asked, or one axe grinder to make an appearance, and the predators smell blood. A swarm of anonymous fairies and fops with ridiculous icons appear and begin fomenting themselves into leaps of logic, unfounded assumptions, and distortions of reality. All this would be amusing if it were not for the fact that their extensive dialogues and diatribes become public record and are ranked high in Google.

And will the average reader always understand what kind of sociopaths he or she is witnessing. Not necessarily. They appear to speak from authority quite often, give the appearance of sincerity, and there is a background history of real scams revealed by Absolute Write. Users there like Victoria Strauss, who give the appearance of legitimacy, will rush in to show support. But as we all know, the best way to maintain the momentum at Absolute Write is to mix a few grains of truth into one continuous and hydra-headed avalanche of lie. In reality, the core site is a lie on more than one level. The owner and her sock puppets and assorted gang not only shred people all day for amusement and publicity (as someone pointed out, the mediocre writers get publicity for their poorly written books each time they post) and monetary gain (huge revenue from advertisements), the site itself purports to offer good advice to writers when in fact it does no such thing. Advice is amateurish and quite often just plain wrong.

Regardless, the bullies at Absolute Write, herded there by Lisa Spangenberg (as we all now know) and goaded on by her at all times with great vigor, basically function as a Salem witch trial. Accusations are often baseless, but delivered and discussed with excessive zeal. Victims are displayed for purposes of torture, and anyone who disagrees is accused of being a witch also.

One has to ask: what gives such cowardly arm-chair nerds the right to act as prosecutors, judge and jury? Nothing gives them the right. These are a bunch of losers looking for payback. I've seen it before. I've fired abnormals like this at my job because they were caught retaliating against other workers using phony online identities.

I know the type, and I sincerely hope someone is able to bring legal action against Lisa Spangenberg and her hateful crew.

     - PublisherW - The Missing Sitejabber Reviews


"ABSOLUTE power corrupts absolutely." is the phrase that really sums it up which is funny and ironic. The head admin Spangenberg that has the sock puppet Stone is on a huge power trip over having that big board that looks great, that people want to join, but it's so insidious because it looks harmless and super fun but any of the mods that are nuts like that OldHack and Spangenberg will just randomly attack people and people can't even defend themselves their either banned or have some humiliating subnic, 

And I'm not talking about the small publishers and scam publishers that they bash, I'm talking about just writers trying to talk about any issue if a mod agrees with ANYTHING on ANY topic then they can insult, belittle and degrade that member to their hearts content and the member will be banned if they say one word in their defense or even if they say anything perceived as "snarky" back and they just play these nasty little mind games that they think are so clever, but anyone can see through them, it's just that people can't do anything much about them because it is a private business, but yes, the crazy power trip is ruining a magnificent concept and something that could be so good.

She really doesn't have to act so crazy and nasty to keep control of her board and it's really hypocritical to let certain mods spew misinformation and throw around insults like that Old Hack.

     - Shay Richards : The Looking Glass of Caroll Bryant (comments)

Now, if there is any environment more toxic than GR, it’s the Absolute Write Water Cooler. It’s a snake pit. And not just any snake pit. We’re talking Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of snake pit. Why is it so bad? Its not just because of its members. Its moderators play a big part in it, too. Keep reading and we’ll show you what we mean.

Now before we continue, we want to show you some Alexa reviews we found  here. All of the five star reviews are legacy reviews, because once upon a time, when AW was fresh and new, it was a good place to be, but slowly over time, it became corrupt.

     - STGRB : The Banning of Robin Sullivan

It's Official - Author Jenna Glatzer is Avoiding Any Past Connection to Absolute Write

Jenna, We Miss you

A source close to the founder of Absolute Write, author Jenna Glatzer, has informed us that the last thing Jenna wants is any further association with Absolute Write and it's owner operators, Lisa Spangenberg and Melodi "Mac Stone" Sherman. Even Jenna's most recently updated bio page includes every detail of her past writing life and accomplishments, but noticeably fails to mention her past involvement for several years with Absolute Write.

The truth is obvious. AW is just so toxic and has such a horrible reputation that a professional like Glatzer cannot afford to be have her name mixed in with ongoing acts of defamation, juvenile mob behavior, and terrible advice.

Can anyone blame her?

NOTE: we will never reveal sources of inside information due to the relentless need for the culture at Absolute Write to seek revenge on anyone who goes against the party line--motivated by a group think narcissism that prides itself on being correct at all times. Jenna was the reformer, the being with an ethical mission, but the current culture has descended into a form of self-congratulatory Stalinism that ruthlessly polices itself and retaliates against foes rather than allow important differences of opinion. 

Relevant Links

The Libelous Defamation of Author Robert Bausch by Absolute Write and The Subsequent Attempts to Resolve

The screenshots at the conclusion of this post are taken directly from the "Haters Gonna Hate" blog post by Victoria Strauss wherein she attempts to argue in an unconvincing and utterly ridiculous way that all critics of Absolute Write online are one single troll--and this despite the fact that her own thread is filled with people complaining about AW who are obviously not the same person much less this hypothetical dream troll of Victoria's.

The conclusion of the "Haters Gonna Hate" comment thread features Michael Neff of Algonkian Writer Conferences asking (or pleading) with Victoria Strauss to intervene on his behalf regarding a libelous post by Teresa Nielsen Hayden (posing as an entity called "Hapisofi"). If you read the screenshot posts, as follows below, it all becomes fairly clear.

Teresa Nielsen-Hayden of AW
Here is a person sticking their neck out for someone else in an effort to finally delete a ridiculous and vicious smear by Teresa Nielsen Hayden directed at a well known and respected author who teaches at a college in Virginia and who works with Algonkian workshops. And btw, we've read the original post by Teresa, and let us tell you, it is TRIPLE NASTY.

Our good old bullying Hapisofi went to Hell Town on this one. She must have worn an indignant face, similar to the one on the left, when she wrote that post. It's the face of a self-righteous crusader out to expose and destroy the likes of Robert Bausch and all other famous literary authors who have nothing better to do than lie about winning contests that appear to upset Teresa. Troll times ten!!!!!

Upon reflection, and even given her bullying rep, it makes you wonder what kind of human being acts like this. What kind of person goes out of their way to make up vicious fantasies about others, and what grudge did she have against Bausch, or against Neff for that matter (since she royally trashes him also), or against any one of God knows how many people she has trashed in the past ten years under various guises on chat forums, especially Boing Boing and Absolute Write?

Note how Victoria sidesteps the request to assist with removal of the libelous claim. She says she's all about standing up for writers. Hmmm. But when it comes to Absolute Write, it appears that any outrage is allowable in her book. She leaves Neff hanging. He pleads. She turns a deaf ear. She is a hypocrite, plain and simple. To take on AW would mean risk getting banned and losing her primary source of promoting her tepid fantasy fiction.

If you examine the facts behind this, you will see how this proves beyond any doubt what we've all been saying for years now: Absolute Write is run by bullies, for bullies and by bullies. It is a home to a staggering collection of sociopaths, borderlines, and narcissists of various mental labels, plus a sad group of pitiable ignoramuses who revolve about them as if they're important.

"After Nine Years and 30,000+ Posts at AW, I Got Banned"

"The place has become a hostile nightmare to open discussion."

The comment below was originally made on another page post, but we are reproducing it here because we believe it demonstrates quite clearly that the ownership culture at Absolute Write (namely Lisa Spangenberg and Mac "Stone" Sherman plus various crackpot moderators) has not changed or learned a thing from the dozens of websites and forums critical of their actions and vitriol. It's as if they believe their own absurd lie that it's all just the work of one troll. 

And here we go (the poster chose to remain anonymous):
"After nine years and 30,000+ posts at AW, I got banned a month ago for using the word "nutcase" in reference to the father of Orlando mass murderer Omar Mateen. His father had produced on a local TV commentary show in which he claimed, among other things, to be the President of Afghanistan, and ranted in a semi-coherent way on a variety of things. This had been reported by reputable news sources, and I simply made the comment and linked one article, either from ABC or NBC news.
"AW Admin" called me on the carpet for using the word "nutcase" because if violated the AW rule about "respecting your fellow writer" When I questioned this interpretation, I was informed by "Admin", with a dictionary definition, that the word meant "crazy or eccentric person" and that it could apply to 80% of the AW commenters. I then pointed out, publicly, in another thread, that the word "n*tc*se" had apparently been banned at AW. That comment was instantly taken down, and I was banned for 30 days, with no reason given.
The 30 days expired today, and just for fun (I have no intention of returning to the hellhole that site has become) I tried to log in. At which point I was informed, again with no reason given, that the ban is permanent.
I have friends there, other long-term posters, who have wondered privately to me what the hell is going on with the site. It simply appears that Stalinism is what is going on. I'll pass along this quote, from "AW Admin", in a threatening response to one of those friends:
“if I had any desire to shut down discussion, I could do it in ways which would not be perceptible to the users. There are in fact multiple methods of accomplishing this.”
Both a non-idle threat and a boast. It is happening all the time there these days. The place has become a hostile nightmare to open discussion. The absurdity of the "reasoning" behind "Admin"'s comment to me is obvious and requires no further comment.
I was close to leaving the place, anyway, so I'm dismayed only for the people still trying to populate it. I cannot recommend strongly enough that people stay away from it."