The Bad Reviews - A Pattern of Abuse and Bad Advice to Writers

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.


  1. Even the major defenders, agent Janet Reid and gadfly "author" Victoria Strauss, have created posts in support with comment threads that fall far short of convincing anyone with an IQ of more than 20 that Absolute Write is genuinely a wonderful place.

  2. I am not pro or con for AW but there are just way too many good resources online to deal with a resource that has PAGES of bad reviews.

  3. And if I wanted to mention how I suspect libel, but I'm not sure, would it really be worth trying to sue them at this point?

    They already have a lot of them:

    Though supposedly they were dismissed.

  4. Does anyone other board follow you, and retweet snarky tweets are you that are outside of the original context of the tweet?

    It's like you can't do anything right with these people, they are just out for blood to find something to hate about you.

  5. I think that there is merit to Absolute Write and that it contains a lot of useful content as well as advice to aspiring writers. Unfortunately, this is far outweighed by the imperious and very disrespectful attitude of the site's moderators, with whom I am very disappointed. They seem to enjoy belittling people for no good reason, when far less confrontational, more appropriate language is easily available.

    I honestly don't understand what the AW moderators think they're accomplishing. The mere existence of a counter-blog like the one that I'm now posting this comment to, should let them know that it's time for a serious re-think of their attitude. Sadly, I doubt that will happen, anytime soon.

  6. This was emailed to us recently. The reviewer has asked to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation by Absolute Write mods:

    When I first joined up to this board, even just by posting up an outline (by their vary obviously stated fifty post count limit) in their brainstorming section, I don’t even have to violate the post count rule to be littered with absolute hive mind meanness and cyber bullying. Even just by disagreeing on a minor matter will have the moderators ganging up on the user. There were many reviews that were removed. The phenomenon has not stopped, only the reviews themselves have gone away.

    The only section of the board I find remotely valuable at all, is the writer’s beware section. Even then I could just as easily find out about say Tate Publishing or Publish America on my own. But to me this come across as lying by exaggeration. A distinct phenomenon where unlike benign exaggeration, the exaggeration uses the worst case scenario to make a point about all new publishers. Which does not begin to include how publishers will often involve, if they aren’t getting any bites.

    A word on Yog’s law: First this rule should only apply to reading fees. In self-publishing in particular, you still have to pay for cover art, editing, and advertising. While I will never pay a reading fee, it should be reasonable expected to have to pay for cover art and editing. All this is swept under the concept of Yogs law, that’s not even really being followed by the moderators themselves. While not explicitely stated, I’m surprised buying some of their books is not an explicit requirement for being part of their in crowd.

    There are friendlier fish in other (writer’s board) waters.

  7. It seems the meanness has extended over to twitter as well. Like for a while I was constantly followed by some of them on twitter. One I know of followed my blog briefly, and used my posts on there for ammunition even though it wasn't AW related.

    Which is amusing, as my reputation has steadily grown. Which you would think, would almost suggest the board doesn't know what they talking about. I've completely cut all ties.