Navigating the Storm of Internet Hate

Navigating the Storm of Internet Hate

Nov 04, 2023

As an indie publisher, hosting an open call for a poetry anthology can be an exhilarating experience. It's a chance to curate and showcase the creative talents of diverse voices while contributing to a theme that truly matters. However, in the age of digital communication, this process can be both rewarding and, at times, terrifying. The world of online open calls for anthologies has its dark side, marked by the incessant attacks and harassment by random strangers on the internet.

The Venom in the Comments and DMs

Hosting an open call for a poetry anthology can sometimes feel like opening a Pandora's box of opinions. While constructive criticism is always welcome, the comments and direct messages can often turn venomous. Poetry, being an art form rooted in personal experiences and emotions, tends to evoke strong reactions. Unfortunately, not all these reactions are supportive or empathetic. Trolls and online harassers may target the publisher, the poets, or even the anthology's theme itself, spewing vitriol and hatred.

Emotional Toll

Receiving hate-filled comments and messages can take a significant emotional toll. Publishers may find themselves doubting their choices, feeling overwhelmed by negativity, or even considering giving up on their anthologies. The personal attacks and harsh critiques can be disheartening, making it challenging to maintain the enthusiasm and passion required for the job.

Fear of Impact on Contributors

The attacks may not only affect the publisher but also the contributors who submit their poems with trust and vulnerability. Seeing their work ridiculed or disrespected can be deeply distressing for poets, and it may lead to a loss of confidence in their creative abilities. This, in turn, threatens the thriving literary community that relies on nurturing talents.

Why Keep Doing This Work

Poetry is a powerful means of expressing emotions, thoughts, and experiences. It has the unique ability to touch the human heart and inspire change. Anthologies serve as platforms to voice concerns, bring attention to issues, and create empathy among readers. The power of poetry lies in its ability to ignite conversation and incite action. As a publisher, you play a pivotal role in amplifying these voices, ensuring that meaningful themes continue to resonate with the world.

Fostering Community

While online trolls may create discord, the poetry community has an incredible power to foster unity. As a publisher, you bring together poets, readers, and enthusiasts who share a common passion for the written word. The connections made through your anthologies can serve as a counterbalance to the negativity that occasionally arises. By continuing your work, you help maintain a safe space for poets to flourish and connect with like-minded individuals.

Driving Change

Themes that matter deserve to be explored and shared widely. The attacks from internet trolls only serve as a testament to the importance of these themes. By persevering as a publisher, you contribute to the larger narrative that seeks to address issues, provoke discussions, and ultimately drive change. Your work may touch the hearts of those who need it the most, leading to positive shifts in perspectives and attitudes.


As a publisher hosting open calls for poetry anthologies with themes that matter, you undoubtedly face the terror of internet trolls and their attacks. However, your work is an essential cornerstone of the literary world. You provide a platform for the expression of meaningful themes and stories, helping poets share their voices and perspectives with a wider audience. Despite the challenges, your role in the literary community is vital, offering strength and resilience to stand up against negativity and promote change through the beauty of poetry. Keep doing this work, for it matters not only to you but to the world at large.

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