Dinah — thanks for your post on this, and for your passion for Medium. I’m the Head of Product at Medium and the person who sent the email. I thought I’d respond with a few notes about why we’re sunsetting this feature.
We know that “request a story” has been used by publications (like yours!) to make connections with writers and amplify their voices. However, we’ve heard repeatedly from writers that they are confused by what it means to have their story requested into a publication. Often they’re surprised that their story now lives at a new URL, with new branding, and that the publication now has the ability to edit their story.
We’ve seen that publications work best on Medium when they work more directly with writers, providing editorial guidance, story feedback and copy editing. All of this is still possible with publications on Medium — inviting writers to contribute to your publication, having them submit stories, and reviewing and editing them before publishing. We believe this workflow (where the writer submits) does a better job of making sure the writer understands what will happen to their story, and, ultimately, creates a better story for the reader (thanks to editorial review by publication editors).
I understand that it’s frustrating to have a feature that you’ve used to curate stories into your publication removed. Any writer that you’ve added to your publication can continue to submit stories, and your “Submit a Story” link in your publication’s top nav bar item is a great way for writers to learn how to get in touch with you and become a contributor to Code Like a Girl. (In fact, we recommend this approach to all of our publication owners.)