Dear Harper-Collins...

For those of you who don’t already know, I’m Jelsa Mepsey, an Inkpopper who Top Fived in October 2010 and December 2011.

I was hoping to get my project, Facades, into the Top Five in March 2012.

I didn’t push hard to get it in sooner was because I wanted it ready before it landed on an editor’s desk. However, that was when Harper-Collins shut Inkpop down. Before Inkpop shut down, everyone was promised their reviews. I received my December 2011 project’s review on April 6, 2012, which unfortunately did not come in time for a project I turned in on April 5, 2012 that I wanted the review for. There are also other issues Inkies such as myself have been expressing opinions on for quite some time that need to be shown to the public.

First issue: The three-day notice just before Inkpop shut down. I went out to dinner that night and came home in a fairly good mood. After checking Facebook, which was exploding with the news, I ran to the site and found that it was true. Inkpop was shutting down. I would never get to my second Inkieversary, which would’ve been March 2, 2012.

Here are the responses of some other Inkies:




Danielle (screenname Pixie Chick): I was numb for the first two days…without writers, readers would have nothing to read…I had been on Inkpop since its beta days, so I felt really connected to it…I cried the day I told my favorite teacher about what happened. He understood from a business stand point, but he also understood that it was OUR home.

Alex (screenname EnchantedAngel): It was a Sunday night before a big test, I had homework, I was tired, and then I saw the thread that said that Harper-Collins was selling us out to Figment. At first, I thought someone was playing a joke on us…I had always counted on Inkpop being there for me, even when my real life was going in all the wrong directions. There were so many crazy writer people on there who I could be my crazy writer self with. My writing grew in leaps and bounds, and so did my confidence; I’m much more comfortable showing people my work now. Basically, it was like my home away from home. I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried.

Kristin (screenname PaperHeart): At first, the thought of Inkpop closing down didn’t register in my brain. When it finally did, I cried. Inkpop may have just seemed like a writing website full of strangers to most, but it was truly life changing. If it wasn’t for Inkpop, I never would have attempted to write a novel. I never would have improved or gotten feedback. I never would have gotten the chance to make such awesome writer friends…when I heard it was shutting down, I was upset and ticked at Harper-Collins for not realizing how much it meant to us.

Luana (screenname Luana Veronique): Inkpop was what inspired me to begin writing seriously, and I made so many friends on there, many of which I have now lost contact with.
Meredith (screenname unicornofthesea): Simply, I was devastated when Inkpop announced it would no longer exist…I wrote nearly 25,000 words of a novel in three months solely because of Inkpop—that’s more than I’ve written for any other novel, ever. The community on Inkpop was incredible, and even though I knew I still had places to go, I knew it wouldn’t be the same.



People were upset when Inkpop was shut down. However, Harper-Collins promised everyone their reviews if they hadn’t gotten them. They delivered on their promise to me. Surrender’s review arrived in my inbox, two months late. My review from the book that was in the top five of October 2010, Love at First Sight, came on December 1, 2010. Clearly, something happened between then and now. Harper-Collins is three months late on their February 2012 reviews. In fact, the authors are unsure if they will even get their reviews at this point.


Behind the screennames are Jennifer, Katie, Luana, Meredith, and Sally. The first question I asked them was this: How have you tried to contact people in order to get your review?



Luana (author of Nothingness): I emailed Emily at Figment and HarperTeen and received no reply from Emily, but HarperTeen told me to email inkpop@harpercollins.com. I did so, and was told the editorial team hoped to have my review completed around the 15th of May.


Katie (author of Retro-Specter, screenname Pheonix Rising): I tried to contact them through email. The response was a lack of response.


Sally (author of The Marked, screenname Maple C. Freter): I emailed Inkpop right at the beginning, and they told me they would be emailing me my review.



Jennifer (author of Things Unseen, screenname Jennii): I tried contacting Harper-Collins through the Inkpop Facebook page, the HarperTeen email, and the old Inkpop email, which was where the HarperTeen email manager directed me. I received no response on any occasion besides the one from HarperTeen telling me to seek answers elsewhere.


Meredith (author of The Disillusionment of Winter): I initially had luck with the people at Figment concerning the reviews, and they promised me a review by May 1st. However, May 1st came around…and then May 2nd…May 3rd…Nothing. And now we’re suddenly being ignored. My contact with Figment? Gone. I’ve emailed countless addresses affiliated with inkpop, figment, and HarperCollins, I’ve tweeted Figment, wrote on the inkpop Facebook wall…Nothing.


All five of these authors have been waiting for their reviews ever since March 1st. The reviews were promised on May 1st. This blog post is being written on May 23rd: three weeks later.



Last but not least, I leave you with the answer to this question: “Is there anything you would like to tell Harper-Collins regarding the shutdown of inkpop and the delay/complete lack of owed reviews?”


Ali (screenname Alicyn Monique): People are angry. People want their reviews. Harper-Collins made the worst decision of its publishing career.

Kristin: Giving us three days notice seemed quite pathetic; Picnik had given us three months notice. When they saw our reactions, it seemed like they didn’t really care about our feelings.

Sally: Harper-Collins shouldn’t have shut down Inkpop. The amount of talent on that site was greater than in the YA section of the average bookstore. It transformed mediocre writers into great ones, and the atmosphere was different than on any other writing site. Moving us all over to Figment didn’t move the atmosphere with us.

Meredith: I’m really disappointed with how Inkpop ended. Maybe it wasn’t the money-maker they wanted, but it was important to a lot of people. I don’t think Harper-Collins realized this.

Alex: A few days before Christmas 2011, I messaged Erika saying how much Inkpop had changed me for the better. She responded that that was great, that was part of the reason Inkpop had been formed in the first place. I couldn’t have been the only one to experience that; I saw several other messages saying things much like mine had. And, knowing all this, Harper-Collins took it all away. It’s extremely unprofessional of Harper-Collins, one of the top publishing companies, not to have given the promised reviews yet. the Top 5 and the editorial reviews were one of the major things that set Inkpop apart from all the other writing sites, and just because the site’s gone doesn’t mean that the review that were promised should be, too. And promises should be kept. Otherwise, much credibility is lost.

Jennifer: Harper-Collins doesn’t see Inkpoppers as the people they are. They created a forum for young writers to get good feedback and maybe, just maybe, a professional’s opinion of their work. Then, they took that away without any real warning. There isn’t another Inkpop to go to. They owed us at least a month’s warning, especially for those at numbers six through ten, who would’ve been so excited to get reviews after just another month. They told us, the final top five, that we would get our reviews, which would’ve gained them some forgiveness. Except they’ve yet to deliver, and after ignoring us, they owe us. They’ve dragged this out too long with too many promises and ignored emails.





As an Inkie who was Inkpopper of the Week, twice (and very close to thrice) in the Top 5, the creator of the November Revolution (whoever still remembers it gets cookies from me), a top critic, but most importantly a regular member of the site, I was moved to write this blog post when I found out the February 2012 reviews never came out. Harper-Collins already killed Inkpop. Not only that, but there was only a three day notice, and then it just disappeared. Every Inkie’s writing has been affected by Inkpop’s death.


I am not the only one who thinks this way. All the quotes from above came from real people. Real Inkies. Real people affected by one decision.

Once in a while, someone who isn’t a writer will ask me this question: “What was Inkpop?” I have a lot of conflicting things going on in my mind when someone asks me this. The safest place to post writing. A great place to make real writing friends. A site I was, once upon a time, popular on. A site that’s pretty great, despite occasionally being cluttered with spam. The site I went on every day possible. A site I was addicted to.


But really, there’s only one answer I can say to this question and really, truly sum up all of this:


Inkpop was the site that made me a writer.

13 comments:

  1. Absolutely fantastic, as I've already told you, like, 4000 times :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. *Le sigh* Now I hope this makes it to HC and they see how they've screwed up. Shame, HC, shame...

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is amazing, epictastic, awesomesauce, and any other words like those. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This makes me feel really nostalgic and depressed. Well said, Jelsa.

    ReplyDelete
  5. *sighs* True. I still miss Inkpop; it was the only writing site that I actually was active on and enjoyed. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do about bringing the site back.

    ReplyDelete
  6. TBH I have a very low opinion of HarperCollins.

    They're like politicians. Always looking for short-term results due to their need for instant gratification. They wanted instant results from Inkpop and when they didn't get it, they gave it up.

    I miss Inkpop!

    ReplyDelete
  7. this is good. three day notice was ridiculous and so unprofessional, I can't even.

    I will never buy HC anything. Mostly because they've shown me they're not professional and they don't really care about anything but money.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That was the month of horrible good-byes. Picnik was already going to leave, then Inkpop just disappeared too? Not cool. And as you said, they could have given us more time to get used to it!

    That worst thing they ever did: deleting a special community you could find no where else, no matter where you look.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I completely agree with everything you said. Inkpop really was one of the best writing Websites out there. I tried Figment, I really did, but at the end of the day, it's not somewhere I'm going to post my writing.

    The three day notice was ridiculous. Not only that, they didn't tell us personally, another Inkie found an article stating the Website was being sold. It was very unprofessional of HC.

    I miss Inkpop. I really wish they would bring it back.

    ReplyDelete
  10. If only Harper-Collins could see this... they would know that Inkpop meant a lot to those writers, to us.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for posting this Jelsa! I remember reading you awesome stories on Inkpop. That site completely turned my writing around for the better and when it shut down... I couldn't write anything for at least 4 months. I had lost the inspiration I once had. I honestly don't see why the site had to shut down. It was the site I went to instead of Facebook, and now all Inkies no longer have that awesome surrounding. Of course, like other Inkies, I tried out Figment, but as I said before, I wasn't able to write anything for the longest time. It was horrible and very depressing.
    But one thing's for sure, I will forever be an Inkie.

    ReplyDelete