There is a part of “curation jail” that Shaunta didn’t address, so thought I’d take a stab at it.
Medium’s guide says:
Your story might not be curated even if it has not been disqualified by any of these criteria. Reasons for this include curators’ individual quality judgment and a writer’s past curation acceptance.
Shaunta addresses the latter reason, a writer’s past curation acceptance.
The first reason listed is equally important, if not more so.
It’s true that a writer’s “past curation acceptance rate” affects whether you get sent to “curation jail” or not. But what do you think causes the writer’s past curation rate?
The curator’s quality judgement.
Here’s another way to say quality judgement — sorry, we don’t think this is of sufficient quality to distribute. I know, that sounds awful, but that’s what they’re essentially saying.
If you read between the lines, “past curation acceptance” is just reputation. Does a writer have a reputation for good writing?
When a writer earns a reputation for good writing, that doesn’t mean all their articles get curated. But it does mean they’ve earned the reputation of being worth a look, every time.
I don’t think the phrase “curation jail” is doing anyone any favors. It portrays punishment, but that’s not what’s happening. It’s simply that the writer needs to earn the reputation of consistently being worth a read. That’s not jail and it’s not a punishment. It’s just a product of the sheer number of writers here.