What’s Going On?

I’m so annoyed that WordPress took away my ability to draft a post in “classic” instead of “block.” I hate block. Any writer would hate block. And you know what? Even my website guy who is a techie instead of a writer hates block editing. If WordPress would pay attention, they would see that blogging via WP is down since they started that ridiculousness.

Things have been tough this past year without WP screwing around with me. Four kitties since July that I’ve had to watch get sick and then help over the rainbow bridge. Family troubles causing me to end up with two more senior cats that I need to integrate into the household (not to mention the family troubles themselves).

I wrote a chapbook of poems, and I submitted it to a contest that I found through a reputable writing website. My chapbook didn’t take one of the top three spots, but it was one of nine finalists. I thought that was great until I got an email from them saying that as one of their “top finalists” my book deserves to be published. I can do that if I cough up $600 for the publisher. What???? So I read more about the press. They say they operate on a cooperative publishing model and are not a vanity press. To clarify: a vanity press is when you want to publish your book and you pay a publisher to do so. There is no possible rejection involved. This “cooperative” press assures first that they want to put their name on your book. Then you pay $600! When is this ever a good idea? Let’s say you have had a book rejected by many publishers and you don’t want to self-publish and you can afford to spend the money. Maybe then? Back to me submitting to their contest. I guess I’m a little ticked off that a legit writing website would let them advertise that contest without explaining about the “hit you up for $600 bit.”

Remember that the writing contest I’m holding right now is LEGIT. 🙂

Remember my tiny books for Doll God and Kin Types? I got them for Rooted and Winged!

You have through Friday to preorder a copy of the actual book if you have not already. I’m still pledging to donate $5 per preordered copy to Liberty Wildlife. Also, if you would like to enter my writing contest (for prose or poetry) which closes on July 27, you must preorder a copy by July 15 to be eligible. Guidelines at the end of this post.


Award: $250 to contest winner. Finalists will receive Rooted and Winged swag.


Rooted and Winged explores the emotional and physical movement of flight and falling. The human imagination will always strive for flight, even as we feel most comfortable close to the earth. Brainstorm images of flight and falling, earth and sky, then write a poem or flash prose inspired by this activity.

Guidelines: Must respond to the prompt; flash prose (fiction and nonfiction) or poem up to 800 words, don’t put your name on the piece itself, identify genre in upper case at the top left of the first page (POETRY, NONFICTION, FICTION), identify word count underneath genre.

How to submit: Email doc, docx, or pdf submission to writersite.wordpress@gmail.com. Do not include any identifying information on your prose or poem. In the body of the email please include your full name (same as used to preorder Rooted and Winged), as well as your email address. If you wish your writer name to be different from your preorder name, please include that as well. Submissions will be passed on to judges anonymously.


K.E. Ogden is a two-time judge for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Prize and a two-time winner of the Academy of American Poets Henri Coulette Memorial Prize from Cal State Los Angeles. Her debut collection of poems, What the Body Already Knows, is winner of the Finishing Line Press New Women’s Voices poetry prize and is in presale now [[https://tinyurl.com/keogdenFLP]]to be released September 2022. Her poems, essays, and fiction have been published in Kenyon Review Online, Brevity, anderbo, Claudius Speaks, Louisiana Literature and elsewhere, and her plays have been staged at several university theaters. A typewriter lover and avid book artist, her digital quilt piece “My President: A Politics of Hope” was published by writer Gretchen Henderson as part of the “Unstitched States” project [[https://unstitchedstates.com/]] . â€‹Ogden lives in Los Angeles where she teaches at Pasadena City College and in the Young Writers at Kenyon program each summer in Gambier, Ohio. Visit her on the web at kirstenogden.com [[https://www.kirstenogden.com]]​

Suanne Schafer was born in West Texas at the height of the Cold War. Her world travels and pioneer ancestors fuel her writing. A genetic distrust of happily-ever-afters gives rise to strong female protagonists who battle tough environments and intersect with men who might—or might not—love them. A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRE depicts an early 20th century artist in West Texas while HUNTING THE DEVIL explores the plight of an American physician during the Rwandan genocide. BIRDIE looks at women’s rights in the 19th century through the eyes of a teenage girl committed to an insane asylum. Suanne has served as an editor for a mainstream/romance publishing house and fiction editor for a literary magazine as well as freelance editing. Follow her on https://twitter.com/SuanneSchaferhttps://www.instagram.com/suanneschafer/ and https://sanneschaferauthor.com.

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a BA in English/Writing from Old Dominion University and an MA in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. Recent fiction publications include Woven Tale Press, Dash, Pinyon, Aji, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters, and Evening Street Review. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published in 2018. Her debut poetry collection, “Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance,” was published by Paul Stream Press in September 2021. Learn more about her work at https://lizgauffreau.com.


Filed under #AmWriting, Book promotion, Books, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing, Research and prep for writing, Writing, Writing contest

61 responses to “What’s Going On?

  1. I’m still using classic. I hate block! When will I get zapped with it?

  2. I’m sorry you having trouble, Luanne. The headaches were the reason I left WP. “This “cooperative” press assures first that they want to put their name on your book. Then you pay $600! When is this ever a good idea?” Never!

    • I was thinking never, also. But then I was thinking there might be people it could be useful for. I am just not one of them lol! And I should have mentioned that newbies shouldn’t fall into that trap. You are the second person to mention leaving because of block!

  3. i am sorry that you have been having problems! I hope things even out and that better days are coming. Sometimes, it does feel like everything hits all at once. Wishing you blessings and keeping you in my prayers.

  4. I thought everyone was already forced to use block. It’s a pain, but I’m sort of used to it now.
    Wow–about that contest. That’s just wrong!
    Sorry things have been so awful for you lately. Sending hugs.

  5. I hate block too. But I can switch to classic when I want. Doesn’t your site have that feature? I’m so sorry about losing your kitties! That must have been heartbreaking. About the $600, are they a hybrid publisher? That’s actually legit. They only publish quality writing and do a lot of distributing, promoting, etc, so it’s halfway between regular publishing and self publishing. But I agree they should have been upfront about it.

    • No, it’s not hybrid–and definitely not the kind of hybrid you’re thinking about, which is probably like She Writes. It felt icky, in fact.
      Thank you re the kitties. It’s been horrible. Just awful.
      After WP long ago got rid of my regular access to classic editing, I used to be able to go to the top of the page and select classic over block in a little drop-down menu, but that option suddenly disappeared.

    • Hey Deb, do you have my email address? I would like to talk to you about something.

  6. I can still access classic through a bookmark but it’s really difficult to edit a saved post. I write in word and don’t transfer until I’m pretty sure it’s done. I also hate block. I’ve tried it and have a lot of trouble with pictures (and it’s not like I post a lot of pictures). They had said they weren’t going to support classic after April 2022 so I guess that happened. As always, sorry for your kitties.

    • Thank you about the kitties, Kate. Such a hard year. So you write your posts the same basic way that Merril does then. So how do you add photos when you write in Word and then paste into WP?

  7. I’ve been using block for a while now. Ignorance is acceptance. However, when I create a post on my phone – it transfers as ‘classic’ when I “save” then open later on the PC. At least, it once did. hmmm

    • Interesting. Everything seems to happen at all different times. That’s another thing about WP: if they make a big change, why not make it across the board at the same time instead of picking on some of us? hahaha

  8. Amy

    I still have Classic if I got to All Posts and use the dropdown menu. Are you not seeing that? If they take mine away, then I will stop blogging. Two problems solved at once!

    Your experience with the “cooperative press” is another example of how screwed up the publishing industry is. I had publishers say that even if they’d publish my book, I’d have to pay for promotion. What good is that? Hence I decided to self-publish. It’s free, and I do my own promotion at my own cost anyway.

    AND I entered your contest. It’s so embarrassing since I do not write poetry or flash prose, but you said I should, so I did!

    • That is exactly where I was finding classic and then one day it disappeared! So frustrating. A blog reader sent me an email about how to do classic now, but I haven’t had a chance to spend any time with it yet. Thank you for entering the contest! Yay!!!
      I hear you about the decision process about your books. It is terrible how writers have to pay for the promotion and in most cases even do it/be in charge of it. I’m not sure how the Big Five work, but the other publishers seem to all be like that today.

      • Amy

        Please send me the email you got about Classic. Just in case… I am sure it’s inevitable. Have you contacted WordPress about this?

        • I’m sorry. I didn’t get an email. I just went to the dropdown menu and there was only block left. Way way back when they first threatened the whole thing, I contacted them. They had no sympathy. Somebody on Twitter said I can “still draft posts in “classic” just install classic editor plugin then you will get it done.” I will see if I can find it!

          • Amy

            I think plugins are only available if you buy the business level or some other level of WordPress. I know I have Premium, and I can’t install most plugins.

  9. You may be able to add a “Classic” block that still functions almost like the old classic interface. You can also edit in Code View, which I find I do ALL THE TIME now, especially when I need to copy section of content I want to use elsewhere. I feel you pain though – on the WP topic, the family issues, AND the kitties. THANK GOODNESS we can lean on into our writing…right?

    • What happens if you edit in Code View?
      Yes, exactly–about the writing. Thanks for your sympathy, Jen!!!!

      • If you can find your way through HTML code, you can easily edit your text in the code. Then save, exit code view, and go back to the block editor or preview.

        I’m struggling with this on a number of my sites…but definitely try the Classic Block, it it pretty familiar AND you can take advantage of some of the newer block features (like columns and buttons) but still edit your text based content like before.

  10. What they’re really leading up to is “full site editing,” which they want us all to do the beta-testing for. Sigh.
    I finally bit the bullet and watched an intro webinar, then created a trial version of my web site (unpublished) to help get my head around it. I was able to recreate the things I liked about my old site, and I have to admit I like how much cleaner the new site looks. I’m still fiddling with it, but in time I’ll probably activate it and transfer the domain. Not soon, though, because I don’t have a lot of time to devote to that.
    I chose WP because it was so easy to use, and the design choices were beautiful and professional. I could spend most of my time writing and posting, needing only a little time to do the webmaster thing. It was so easy, I regularly offered to set up sites for other people!
    While it’s true that the block editor and full site editor are tremendously flexible, they are also really time-consuming and not at all user-friendly. If the new editor option was really so easy and wonderful, they wouldn’t need to keep selling us on it.

    • You’re scaring me. What is full site editing?!!!!!!!! It sounds awful. I (almost) never watch how to videos. I get so confused. Although daughter and SIL brought over their litter thing when I watched the kittens. It keeps the dirty scoops for up to two weeks so you don’t have to keep using bags or walking to the garbage can. I got so discombobulated that I actually did watch the video, which helped but by then I had already goofed up the liners.
      Your last sentence: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Sometimes our troubles come in legions instead of singles – Pretty and I are struggling with one of our dogs on this same sadness…we have a hard time letting him go.
    Still working on something for your contest – I’m struggling with that, too!
    Bless your heart, may family issues resolve and melt into joy for all.
    Love and hugs to you

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry. It’s so very difficult. Good luck on the submission!!!!!!!! And thank you for your good wishes and hugs. We all need them, don’t we? So back atcha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Get in line; I hate “Block” too — hate it with a passion!

  13. My condolences on your beloved cats and sorry to hear about the writing contest. Hoping this finds you well.

  14. I DO NOT like block. I even attended a webinar. Still don’t like it. Everyone has said what I could say so I won’t repeat. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  15. Apart from you, who can be trusted in the publishing field?

  16. OMG – YES! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I TOTALLY agree!!!

  17. That is such a bummer about Classic disappearing and about the contest publisher. Both just crappy situations! I still blog in editor. I’m trying to learn how to create an author site, which seems to just allow Block. Super Ugh!! Jane Friedman makes it look easy in webinars, but it sure isn’t.

  18. Hey Luanne, I share your pain re ‘blocks’ in WP. But I am still able to use Classic. I mentioned this to my daughter (who works for the parent company of WordPress.com, Automattic). She suggested you go to https://wordpress.com/help/contact and ask for help re this.

  19. So sorry about your cats and family trouble. Also, it is a disgrace for the dubious publishing company to want to charge you $600 to publish your book of poems. That is a classic grift and even if you did have the money to waste it’s a bad deal all around. Good luck with your submissions.<3

    • Yes, it seems so shady to me! Thank you for your sympathy, too, Carol. I feel like I really need it lately heh!!!