You don’t have to write in science fiction or fantasy to love Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. This organization serves all writers by warning us of disreputable editors, publishers, agents, contests, and other scams in their Writer Beware. And naturally, they also blog about other topics you might be interested in.

Here’s their current list of so-called literary agencies whose habits range from unprofessional to fraudulent. And here’s the list of publishers to avoid. (Most are vanity presses, the dark side of self-publishing.) No list is complete, of course, but you can easily rule out any who show up here. And if you’re new and don’t even know which practices are considered unprofessional or fraudulent, you’ve just received an even greater gift.

Thank you, SFWA!

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Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011. All Rights Reserved.