Earlier this week, Terror House Magazine was the target of a smear campaign by leftists in the literary community, falsely accusing us of being “racist,” “misogynistic,” and “homophobic” based on statements our editor-in-chief Matt Forney made on other sites years ago. These leftists have been urging writers to boycott us for our supposed “bigotry.”

Since we’ve refused to back down in the face of their defamation campaign—and indeed, we’ve gotten both record traffic and a record number of submissions from writers who want to support us—our enemies have switched to individually threatening and harassing our contributors. This is similar to what happened to Flulandone of Terror House’s forerunner sites, which was forced to shut down a year ago today.

Because of this, we’ve decided to make a short statement to clarify some issues.

1. Terror House is, has always been, and will always remain an apolitical publisher.

Our mission statement, as laid out on our About page and in Matt’s article “Welcome to Terror House Magazine,” remains the same. Matt’s personal views—or the views of our other editors and contributors, for that matter—have no bearing on Terror House’s operations. Neither Matt nor anyone else has or will ever use Terror House as a vehicle for their political agendas.

Terror House judges its contributors based on only one metric: merit. It is because of this that we publish writers from all over the political spectrum, LGBT writers, women writers, and non-white writers: if your work is good, we will run it. We don’t give special dispensation to any contributor based on their genetic circumstances (race, sex etc.), political views, or sexual orientation because this allows talentless hacks to thrive (and indeed is a major reason why most modern literature is garbage).

If individual writers choose not to associate with Terror House because of our editors’ or contributors’ personal views, that’s entirely their choice. Prior to launching Terror House, Matt Forney was a well-known author and journalist, having blogged and contributed to major alternative media websites in America and Europe for nearly a decade. He has not attempted to conceal his past in any way and in fact refers to his past work in his bio on this site. Glahn and Calvin Westra are also known for their contributions to Fluland, Soft Cartel, and other outsider literary magazines. If you didn’t know who we were prior to learning about Terror House, that’s 100 percent on you.

2. Terror House unabashedly supports freedom of speech.

In an era in which Silicon Valley has the reins on national governments and can do an end-run around the First Amendment, Terror House stands against all forms of censorship and deplatforming. The reason is simple: writers depend on freedom of expression in order to thrive. Any writer who justifies the silencing of others by claiming to oppose nebulous concepts such as “hate speech,” “bigotry,” and “dehumanization” is slitting their own throat.

With maybe one or two exceptions, Terror House has never heard of the writers or lit mags who are smearing us, and we’ve never sought to network with them in any way: virtually all of our contributors have come to us, lured by our mission statement or word of mouth. We don’t care about other lit mags and we certainly don’t intend to “boycott” them or urge anyone else to do so, yet our enemies are fuming angry over the fact that we exist. We can only assume that they’re psychologically unbalanced, are terrified of our success, or both.

3. Terror House will always defend its writers.

Without exception, Terror House has treated its contributors fairly and professionally. In contrast to most literary magazines, we answer emails promptly and write personalized critiques of submissions rather than sending out soulless form rejections. We also offer a cash prize to our best contributors, a big deal considering that all of these “pro-worker,” “anti-oppression” lit mags expect their writers to work for free. We’ve received countless praise for our speedy responses to writers, our respectful treatment of their work, and our merit-based submission guidelines. In fact, more than a few of our contributors have told us that they have been rejected by other literary magazines because they aren’t members of some supposedly “marginalized” minority group.

Terror House places no impositions on its writers and will defend them against any and all attempts by our enemies to bully or blackmail them. This is part of our mission as a writer-centered platform: to aid our contributors when it comes to publicizing their work. We would never harangue our writers for submitting to other lit mags in the way that our enemies have been harassing our contributors, because we believe in freedom of association.

It is our hope that Terror House Magazine and the soon-to-be-launched Terror House Press will become the premier publisher for eclectic outsider literature. Unlike our enemies, we choose to compete not through forming lynch mobs or organizing whisper campaigns, but by publishing better work than our rivals. If our rising traffic and the outpouring of support we’ve received in the past week is any indication, we are well on our way to achieving our goals.

Matt Forney

Senior Editor

Calvin Westra