DEAR MEDIUM: You just keep pushing people like me away

Georgia NeSmith
14 min readAug 8, 2021
Photo by Debbie Hudson at

So…Medium has seen the competition’s writing on the wall and now expects to draw more quality writing to its site by offering highly paid contests for writers. Offering amounts of money that far exceed anything offered by any “normal” publication contest ANYWHERE.

I mean, 50K is bigger than most 6–12 month long writers’ residencies where winners must produce new work, teach classes and workshops, and do public readings. Check out the list of cash prizes offered by these print and digital literary magazines for creative non-fiction acording to Poets & Writers Magazine (use drop down “genre” menu to select “creative non-fiction).

Do you have any idea how many of these prizes could be funded by Medium’s single cash prize of $50K?

I don’t know about you, but $50K is more than THREE TIMES a year’s income for me from Social Security and retirement.

But beyond that insanity, I’d be happy if Medium would just curate my work now and then. I’ve been publishing on Medium for three years and NOT A SINGLE ONE of my articles has been curated. (Three years on Medium, 18 months of that in Partnership program.)

Whatever Medium’s curators may think, I know I produce quality work andhave for nearly 50 years as an adult. I have two degrees, a BA (1974) and MA (1976) in English and Creative Writing. That quality vastly increased as my education advanced (PhD in journalism and mass comm from the University of Iowa, 1994), and continued to advance long after I won my department’s award for best doctoral student award in research.

Yes, of course I know that academic work isn’t appropriate for Medium’s readership. (DUH!)

As a writing professor and a professional editor, I thoroughly understand the two fundamental concepts ruling all communications: Audience and Purpose. (Thank you, Aristotle, and all the rhetoricians who came after.) I note my academic work only to mark my deep intellectual background, which of course feeds the writing I do for general audiences.

Good writing begins with your understanding of your audience and your purpose.
Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.