Rebel Tales has closed.

Due to the nature of the actions taken by Ms. Ferrari, and to how these actions reflect both on Rebel Tales and on me, and because I cannot guarantee that some other person will never misrepresent himself and his actions while using my name and the name of Rebel Tales as cover for wrongdoing, I have made the decision to close Rebel Tales permanently.

I have not made this decision lightly—I have taken consultation and come to the conclusion that this is the only viable decision I can make. I do so with a heavy heart.

I apologize to everyone who held the same hopes I had for this endeavor.

I hope someone else will pick up the banner to create a new midlist for writers.

Holly Lisle

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98 responses to “Rebel Tales has closed.”

  1. Annie Avatar

    Holly, I am so sorry. This is heartbreaking, but we are all here to cheer you on through life’s hurdles. You are an inspiration to aspiring writers all around the word, and I cannot believe this has happened to you. The worst things happen to the best people.

  2. Faith Avatar

    I share the sadness and frustration of everyone else here. It’s despicable what this woman did, particularly in an industry where we’re so used to working together and helping each other out. Lies and false hope — why would anyone think that’s a good idea? That it would help them ‘get ahead’? That there wouldn’t be repercussions?

    I hope that, as a community, we can bounce back from this and use our creative energies to take back the midlist together, even without Rebel Tales.

    I wish you didn’t have to go through this, Holly, and I imagine things are even worse than you’re letting on (considering the decision to close RT). I hope the rest of us can restore your faith (and ours) in the goodness of the writing community as a whole. I hope we can dream together and find a new way to keep this industry moving and growing and beneficial for writers and readers in the long run.

  3. Ro McAlister Avatar
    Ro McAlister

    Hello Holly;
    I haven’t written anything publisher worthy in a long time. I guess life just got a hold of me. I guess that’s what happens sometimes. I just want to let you know I respect your decision to close down. If you should change your mind I respect and support your right to fight. In either case I wish you the best. One last thing; All evil needs to succeed is for good men to set back and do nothing.

  4. NancyJ Avatar


    This is all unthinkable, incomprehensible. Like others here, I want Rebel Tales to continue. But it isn’t our decision. Hard as it is, I’ll support your decision. I know it wasn’t easy for you. Just don’t give up your dream permanently. It is a good dream and we are all dreaming it with you. Perhaps one day its time will come. We’re ready when you are.


  5. Mae Powers Avatar
    Mae Powers

    Dear Holly,
    I haven’t been on the site much since last year, but still get your newsletter and read the posts here. As a former editor and publisher myself, I don’t think you should close Rebel Tales. The concept is a fantastic one and you have a lot of loyal followers who understand what happened. Don’t close your dreams off because there was a bad apple in the bunch. If every you need help with this, do call on me. Any of us would help you and we want you and the writers to succeed. Please rethink and reopen. I’ve always been a big fan of yours too, and know this can be done. Good luck to you and all the writers. Mae

    1. Nicki Savantes Avatar

      I’m with Mae.
      Sorry I keep posting to this thread. Apparently I am having big trouble accepting the reality of RT having closed down. I’m slowly cooling down/getting my head back.
      Thinking of the heartache you must be feeling right now makes me cringe. I am really sorry this happened.
      Holly, thinking solutions here: Would you be willing to have a worldwide brainstorming session with those of us who can make it, to see if together we can come up with something viable for RT? You set date & time & tell us the means/software/URL to use if you agree.


  6. Lauren (LaughSing) Avatar

    Holly, my heart weeps for you.

    That said, I believe that everything happens for a reason. We may never find out what the reason was, but there was a reason, and it all works out for the best in the long run. You may or may not share that philosophy, but it sure is comforting in sad moments, and I’ve seen it work out that way time and time again.

    We can all see that you put a good deal of thought and heart into everything you do, into your writing, into creating your classes, into your websites, so I can’t imagine that you put any less thought and heart into the decision to close RT, so I believe that it is the right thing to do.

    Rock on, Holly, the best is yet to come.

  7. Jason Sharp Avatar
    Jason Sharp


    That is the saddest thing that I have ever heard and I am sorry for the callousness of some people. I wish that you didn’t feel the need to close down Rebel Tales. I was excited for this writing opportunity and was excited that someone was doing something for the mid-listers. If you still see no other recourse then I’m sure that everyone will understand…..however, I think that I agree with everyone else. Don’t let the fool take you down. Your name is worth a lot to many people. An idiot like that can’t ruin your name.

    You have inspired me,


  8. Martin Avatar

    I know this cannot have been an easy decision Holly, there is nothing more disheartening than seeing one’s efforts ruined by vandals. While I am saddened by the closure of Rebel Tales, perhaps as you mentioned it might be reborn in another guise. No matter what, I echo all the others who shout that this in no way reflects badly upon you. To quote an inspiring author I admire greatly, “Keep writing.”


  9. Knicky Avatar

    I’m so sorry, Holly. I just can’t imagine anyone wanting to harm you in any way. You are very generous and helpful to the lives you touch.

  10. Sarah Avatar

    I am sorry this has happened. Is there any way to start over again by changing the name of Rebel Tales to something else? How many people did you consult on this. Maybe other people would have different ideas. I do so hope you are able to continue.

  11. April Avatar

    So sorry to hear this, Holly – I was very much looking forward to reading Rebel Tales.

  12. Kim Avatar

    So sorry this had to happen. I know during the process how clear you were on your expectations. I think you have done a great job. I am so saddened by the close. I hope we get a chance to work together again.

  13. Coyt Avatar

    This is terrible! I had hoped to drop a fair number of submissions for this! It’s awful someone would be invited into your camp, only to steal from you. I don’t know all the legal implications, this has, but I hope it doesn’t reflect badly on you. Perhaps someday you can try a similar project again! Best wishes.

  14. Gabby Avatar

    I don’t understand what’s happened exactly. Why does Rebel Tales need to close? Can’t you just contact the authors and let them know what happened and offer them a chance to resubmit? I can’t see having to close a company completely because one person acted unethically.
    Does anyone know what the editor did exactly?

    1. Michelle Avatar

      I don’t know exactly, but she could have done any number of awful things. It sounds like she convinced writers to send her their stories, telling them they would be published in Rebel Tales and also contacted other writers and lied to them about what Rebel Tales was and probably about how much money she could guarantee they would make if they submitted. I’m guessing she’s extorted money and/or stolen a lot of people’s work, which is why I hope Holly and those writers will pursuit a lawsuit against this woman.

      But I don’t speak from experience at the moment, rather from heightened emotions. Lawsuits are ugly things and the facts can be difficult to prove out in situations like this.

      Holly, I just hope you’re okay. I imagine you’re busy right now sorting through all this mess. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

    2. Gabby Avatar

      Oh, I understand better now. Thank you for clarifying. That does make it rather hard to continue. I’m so sorry this happened.

  15. Alice Avatar


    How you must be hurting and most likely enraged too.

    It is a terrible thing when someone close ti you in effect steals all your hard work and your dream.

    When I had all my photographs and more importantly the negs stolen. for a photographer losing you negs is the worst that can happen. It hurt like hell. I knew what was taken was my best work and done to hurt me. It did.

    One day, about 6 months later I opened Scientific America while minding my own business sitting in a doctors office and there it was. MY photograph with someone else’s credit.

    I felt a sharp piercing needle like pain in my heart. I had no recourse I did not have the negs as proof it was my work. there was nothing I could do about it.

    It still hurts and that was many years ago.

    But I learned something. I learned that I could go on and that if that shot was good enough to hit a magazine of that quality then I was a good, really good photographer. If someone knew that my work could make it he were riding on my coattails. It also meant he knew he did not have what it took to do it on his own. He did not have vision to make a dream come true on his own.

    Yes, it took me quite a while to recognize this actually was a high compliment to my work. And, yes, it stung and the wound bled too. I was shattered.

    I stopped working for a very long time and hunkered down determined to get hurt again but in the end I discovered what I loved and owed to my dream was to carry on.

    You had a dream and it had you. Perhaps It is right and proper to let that one go and allow another to take its place. Only you can know the answer to that. Perhaps keeping Rebel Tales open is the way to go with some different safe guards. Or perhaps in a different form.

    Either way, do not allow MS Ferrari or any one else to steal your dreams. Above all do not steal your dreams from yourself, in this form or any other.

    But know this, what ever you do I will carry on cheering in your corner as will all who cherish you,

  16. Charlotte Lenox Avatar
    Charlotte Lenox


    People like this woman are excrement. You step in it inadvertently, then wash it off with the hose before continuing on. It’s not your fault for stepping in it–it’s the dog’s fault for putting there.

    I’m disgusted that someone would abuse your generosity this way. But they are just going to shrug their shoulders, maybe even smile, if you shut down Rebel Tales. I can’t imagine you’re okay with that, which is why I would press you to keep Rebel Tales open and thwart these horrible people and their horrible actions. They’re scum, and there will always be scum such as this woman. Don’t let it get you down! I can’t pretend that I know all of your reasons, but please keep Rebel Tales open if you can. It’s a work-in-progress, and as such there very likely will be more bumps in the road, but that’s just part of a unique and worthwhile project.

    No one blames you, and I don’t think anyone believes your name is tarnished.


  17. Lauren Harris Avatar

    What a terrible thing for a person to have done. You have my sympathy and support. As many others have stated already, this isn’t something that we blame on you, and it isn’t something that makes you look any less trustworthy or authentic. I do understand your reasoning in closing Rebel Tales as an attempt to disassociate yourself and protect writers from the negativity now associated with it. I do hope you will consider reopening it in the future, once the sting and the memory of what Ms. Ferrari did has faded enough that it no longer threatens your sense of integrity.

    For now, one less thing on your plate is probably not a bad thing, even though I’m sure it was really hard for you to make the decision to give it up.

    Take care,

  18. Jessica Avatar

    It doesn’t seem fair to me that one person can ruin something that you have put so much hard work into. I apologize that you had to run into someone as cruel as this woman, and I hope that you end up all the stronger because of this horrible situation. It will happen to even the best of us, and it’s unfortunate that it happened to someone as wonderful as you.

    I want you to know that even though you have chose to shut down this project, I am with everybody that supports your decision. I hope that someday all of your hard work and dedication comes back to you. I want you to know that if there is anything I can do- and I’m sure others will be with me on this one- that I’ll be here to help you (and cheer on) whatever it is. It is because of you that I have finished one novel and am now working on a three book series. Before I came across your website I was horrible, I could never finish a project. After everything you have helped me with, it only seems right that I offer you my help as well.

    Best of wishes to you. And good luck with getting all of this resolved. I do hope everything turns out in your favor. It is the least you deserve.

    1. Nicki Savantes Avatar

      Same here Holly, you taught me not just to not give up in my writing projects, but also in my life. You helped transition me from a total victim to someone who will put up a good fight to defend what she believes in. I’m getting whole projects done whereas before I couldn’t even finish a fairy tale. My life has transformed itself into something I actually love thanks to your writing and motivational advice. Now you find a way to do this too, Holly. You’re not ready to be carried off to your grave yet, so FIGHT BACK!
      Sorry, I’m getting a bit emotional over this. I feel very strongly that you should only close down Rebel Tales if that is what you really want to do deep inside. And right now it’s impossible for me to believe that that is what you really want. Any outside factors however disturbing *you* *can* *deal* *with* with determination (and some support from your 1000 true fans)

  19. Stacey Riley Avatar
    Stacey Riley

    I am so sorry this has happened to you. You have gone out of your way to help aspiring writers. I hope you are able to get this resolved.

  20. Jill Avatar

    As a writer you’d think I wouldn’t be at a loss for words, although echoing a few others here your filters would probably delete me if I spouted the first ones that came to mind. Karma is an ugly beast when, and I won’t lie, evil laughter bubbles to the surface as I think about what this woman has coming around the bend.

    I don’t doubt you and your decision; even grieving it as I do. I can’t fathom the depth of emotions that I’m sure are raging. I can think of hundreds of platitudes and cliches; what I know is this: you are a fighter, you are a savvy business woman, you are sharp of wit and mind, you are a great teacher, you will stand up and dust of the grime of this, and you will succeed in whatever is next. There are lots and lots of us who support you and will continue to do so. I send you virtual hugs, lots of love and whatever tiny encouragement one more comment can give you.

  21. Emily Avatar

    Hi Holly,

    What I’m curious about is why closing Rebel Tales is your only viable option. I want to hop on the train with everybody else and be all GO HOLLY 😀 and tell you that I think closing Rebel Tales is a Bad Idea (which I do), but I’m curious as to what your logic is? I feel like I’m missing it. Is it because of a reputation thing? Because it seems to me you have thousands of people on your lists to balance out the people who might be a little miffed.

    I’m just a little bit confused to go along with my sad. Not sure WHY this is the only viable option. 🙁

    1. Zoe Avatar

      I’m confused too, but I’m wondering if there may be legal issues involved. Holly may be vulnerable to a lawsuit if someone is using her name to scam writers. I’m no lawyer, so I don’t know, but that was the explanation that seemed most likely to me.

    2. Nicki Savantes Avatar

      Agree. I’m just thinking why isn’t this Ferrari person sued instead of Holly having to close down? How can it be the reality of things if every impersonator causes the original to back off and close down?
      Holly, don’t let this fraud stop you from pursuing your dream, a dream which we have all come to share. You CAN find a way to make this work, and as you can see, you’ve got a whole community of enthusiastic people to back you up.
      You just tell us what we need to do and we’ll get on it to get Rebel Tales back.
      Need ideas, brainstorming, legal advice? You’ve set up all the resources in the forums to ask questions from the experts, and you’ve got a bunch of committed people here ready to fight for what they believe in. Tell us what you need and allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised…

  22. David Avatar


    I’m a long term fan and I love reading the emails you put out and your blog posts. I must admit I was right behind you when you kicked off the concept of Rebel Tales and I still am. Like others, I’m greatly saddened to hear you will be closing it down permanently; like others, I’m going say don’t shut it down, but I’m sure you’ve given it a lot of very hard thought before coming to this decision, so you have my understanding and sympathies at having to do what you clearly do not wish to do and kill off a labour of love before it’s even properly begun.

    Best regards,

  23. Cat (from HtTS) Avatar

    I am appalled that someone who wanted to work with you twisted to stab you in the back. It’s vicious, and I do know exactly what I wish for her. But do not let that discourage you. You have a great community (as your son so avidly pointed out some blog posts ago) and 99,9% of them are upright. Of course, it is your right and your choice to close down Rebel Tales but most of us would be very sorry to see it go. Publishing opportunities are hard enough to come by, as are great stories (stories the way you teach us to write). Also, the publishing world is changing, and we need to have people to reinvent the wheel in a digital way. I don’t think there are others who have quite your vision for Rebel Tales.

    Here in Germany, there are several well known publishers (example: S.Fischer, in business since 1886) whose names are copied by vanity and/or BoD publishers (example: RG. Fischer, Karin Fischer, JK Fischer, Harald Fischer). But most German authors know that by now, and they make themselves knowledgeable to avoid pitfalls like these. So please don’t give up because of a single human rat. We’ll be there for you should you need us.

  24. Rebecca Anne Avatar
    Rebecca Anne

    Hi Holly I agree with what everyone else as echoed even though I haven’t submitted to your endeavor I believe you to be the best go to person and I respect you and know that you were just unlucky and by no means if I had submitted to you would I hold you or rebel tales responsible because you trusted a bad apple.

  25. Anne Duguid Avatar

    Dear Holly,

    All sympathy. Finding out about this must have been a terrible shock and you hardly need the extra work and worry involved.

    Take time, take heart to make the right decision for you. We’ll all support whatever you decide. You have been unfailingly generous in your support with teaching, advice and info for us–so just do what you think best.

  26. Bima Avatar


    If you remember me, I’m the one offered you cooperation to open a writing class with my online teaching project months ago.

    I’m sorry for this terrible news. But I agree with all the above comments. Do not let the bad guy wins by shutting down Rebel Tales. And you won’t get nothing done that way, either. People WILL know the truth of the matter, faster even that you or she might realize.

    I don’t think shutting down Rebel Tales is the answer, really. I know it’s your project and it’s entirely up to you, but you’ll soon see tremendous amounts of similar responds like this, nonetheless. Especially those with high hopes already for Rebel Tales–writers, editors and buyers alike.

    You wouldn’t want to disappoint them now, would you?

    Hangin’ there, Ma’am!

  27. Ashley Avatar

    Hi Holly,

    I’m one of those contacted by this miscreant. As the others have said, this doesn’t reflect on you or Rebel Tales at all. Two silver linings: One, I learned a nasty lesson in the writing world, and two, I found out about Rebel Tales and you. I do wish you didn’t feel it was necessary to shut down Rebel Tales, but I understand completely. You have my support and loyalty.

  28. brad Avatar

    Hi Holly
    This is a terrible thing to have happened, and I realise that this must have been quite traumatic for you. But I think the decision to close Rebel Tales is not the only answer.
    Nobody blames you for this. This does not reflect on you, your integrity, or your professionalism in any way. There will always be unscrupulous individuals who will try and make a quick buck off someone else’s hard work.

    I am contacted by “my bank,” “paypal,” “ebay” and a number of other misrepresentations of the real thing on a weekly basis to try and con me into parting with my hard earned money.

    You are in the fortunate position to have a huge email database of all your prospective clients, and so you can explain the situation and how ms Ferrari misrepresented herself, and there will be no harm done. Everyone who dealt with her will simply withdraw their submissions and resubmit them to you. In the future you could get people to submit via the website, to only respond to emails sent from on official hollylisle address and to log on to your website, and enter a ticket number to view submission update statuses.

    As you said, you cannot stop people from misrepresenting you, but you can minimize the risk.
    Once again, please reconsider your decision to close Rebel Tales. you have put so much work into it, and as hurdles come, just realise that we as the community will be there for you and support you through it.

    1. Rik Avatar

      I agree with Brad’s comment. Don’t let the bastards grind you down!

  29. Karina Fabian Avatar

    Holly, I’m with everyone else in that this completely stinks. Dream, meet Steamroller. I do, however, want to thank you for what you tried to do with this. I was one of the lucky authors who had her story selected for an issue of Rebel Tales, and despite what happened, I still consider myself fortunate because Marti gave me some wonderful editorial direction. I am going to take her advice in revising the story because I know it will be even better, and I know it will sell. So while this is a small victory amid a big disaster, please take credit–this is because of you and what you tried to do. It helped me, and I am grateful.

  30. Vanessa Avatar

    I hope that you can put this behind you and just take on the rest of the year without adding to your stress…please keep a close eye on it. This can’t be ideal for someone who needed to keep a lid on all the stressors in her life. I hope there is some way for you to recoup the money you’ve put into the project (though nothing will replace the hours and heart that went into it, and I’m truly sorry for that).

    I want you to know that a lot of people were excited about Rebel Tales…and we’ve distraught to see it fall like this–especially like this. BUT…Even if you never have the heart to try this again, even if you wash your hands of all of us and go make bobble-head dolls to sell at swamp-meets so that you don’t have the headaches that come along with writing…you put the idea out there.

    In every person who really saw what you were trying to do with Rebel Tales the idea of it is there…waiting for the right moment to bloom. I really hope you get to profit from it…LORD knows you deserve to…but even getting as far as you did may have sown seeds that have further reaching effects than anything you could have imagined…

    Sometimes it isn’t important as important to win, as it was to try in the first place…

    Ohhh….but I REALLY hope you’re able to make back what you put into it!!!! You DESERVE to. I hate it when the bad guys win….


    Keep your chin up!!!

    1. WandersNowhere Avatar

      Well said.

      Even if this is really the end of Rebel Tales (and I’m not counting it out yet), even its infancy had powerful positive effects on many. I for one now have a 50,000 word stand alone fantasy novel I didn’t have before because of Rebel Tales. Without RT I’m not sure what I’ll do with it, but I HAVE it, and the experience of writing and revising it to a deadline proved to me two things; A) that I can write a whole novel’s worth of material completely unrelated to my ‘main series’ B) that I can work to a deadline and go from concept to finished draft within the space of a couple of months.

      That’s powerful stuff for an ex-procrastinator like me, and I owe that to Holly.

      1. Karina Fabian Avatar

        That’s awesome, Wanders! If I might make a suggestion: In addition to the big publishers, there are a lot of small presses that love shorter-length novels. A great place to meet some is the MuseOnline Conference in October. They not only have a lot of great, free chats and workshop classes but they also bring in publishers to hear pitches. It’s all done online, too, hence the name.

  31. Shawna Avatar

    Wow. Very surprised.

    There’s got to be some way to deal with that person and continue on, but I totally understand that it might be a far harder climb back out of the hole then it would have been starting on fair ground. And on top of all the other challenges… sometimes, you have to choose which battles to fight.

    I get that. But still.

    Makes me want to smush her for you. And for me. I was looking forward to Rebel Tales, and the hope it created, and she’s taken that away. Doesn’t sound like I’m the only one.

    And WHY do those names ring a bell? Can’t figure out why/where, but sounds familiar.

    A suggestion, though – might consider giving those over at Writer Beware a head’s up – so they have the truth directly from you, and can weed out whatever gossip ends up heading their way.

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