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Honoring the writers plagiarized

    On June 1, I received an email from Tara Laskowski, the Editor of SmokeLong Quarterly, letting me know that a guy by the name of B. Mitchell Cator had plagiarized some writers we’d previously published. Cator’s plagiarism in a short story collection had been called out on GoodReads and Amazon. One of the writers was Cami Park, whom we had published several times, and who passed away a few years ago. I was… upset. I launched into doing whatever I could to see that he didn’t profit from other people’s work. I wasn’t alone. Word was getting around on social media,  as more and more writers and editors became aware of the issue.

    The collection got pulled from both GoodReads and Amazon. Literary magazine editors looked through their own archives and found multiple instances of plagiarism by Cator, and immediately removed his work.

    Cator also had a novel launching the same day Tara contacted me. It had received a few very positive advance reviews, including a Kirkus Star. Thanks to the social media firestorm, Ira Lightman, who I met as a result of all of this, downloaded a copy of the novel, and started sleuthing. Not surprisingly, he found a number of instances of  plagiarism there, too.

    By this point, articles were starting to appear about Cator, notably on DailyDot and Great Writers Steal. But the Kirkus review remained. I emailed and called, and was delighted with the response from Karen Schechner, the Senior Indie Editor. With links in hand provided by Ira, they confirmed that plagiarism had been committed, pulled the review, and also issued a terrific press release. My favorite line from that release is this:

    authors whose work was plagiarized… have, as far as I’m concerned, collectively earned a Kirkus Star

    Both the Kirkus press release and Great Writers Steal suggested that we should honor the authors so plagiarized by reading their work. I agree whole-heartedly. Here, then, are links to the works plagiarized in both the collection and the novel:

    From the collection:
    Seven Things About Leroy by Jessica Myers-Schecter
    The Last Leaf by Vadim Bystritski
    Coke and Oreos by Chris Lentonin
    This Is Why We Love Airports by Heidi Priebe
    Why Tanya’s Paper Airplanes Are Better Than Geoffrey’s Paper Airplanes by Thom Veratti
    Milo Hennessy’s Work With Invisible Literature by John W. Sexton
    I Can’t Talk About Butter Because Margarine Is All I Know by C. R. Park
    Far Enough South by Al Billings
    Slashing at the Nets by Townsend Walker

    From the novel:
    Fortune for Disaster by Torin Johnson
    Eulogy to Maria Mamani Fire-eater by Ed Bull
    Ray by Sarah Leavitt
    The Killing Field by Skip Hollandsworth
    Angie Luna by Sergio Troncoso
    The Joys of the Smallest Gesture by Leigh Allison Wilson
    Betweeen Here and the Yellow Sea by Nicolas Pizzolotto
    A Good Deed by Lou Beach
    Liney’s Sense of It by Ashlee Paxton-Turner
    Three Sisters by Maria Takolander
    Medical examiner’s unique technique helps ID desert dead by Rebekah Zemansky
    The Hole Between Them by Gerard Varni

    These are the works Cator directly stole. But these are all terrific writers, and I’d strongly encourage a google for more of their work.

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