Writing Nowadays–Not Getting Paid

Steven Harper PiziksI wrote an article about using puppets in play therapy for autistic children
and sent it to [NAME REDACTED] magazine. It received an enthusiastic
response from the editor, who said they wanted to publish it.

No mention of payment in the e-mail.

I wrote back to politely point this fact out and got back a response:

“I’m afraid we don’t offer monetary compensation to authors and if you want to withdraw your submission because of this, we completely understand.”

I’m so glad they understand.  I withdrew the piece.

–Steven Harper Piziks

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10 Responses to Writing Nowadays–Not Getting Paid

  1. Cat Kimbriel says:

    Steven, so in their specs do they pay SOME people–but just didn’t want to pay you?

    #argh

  2. We don’t offer monetary compensation…

    * we will send you a dozen jars of homemade raspberry jam.
    * you can opt for a week of free babysitting.
    * we pay in kittens. Or puppies, if you don’t like kittens.
    * we’ll take you to breakfast at Denny’s, however.
    * we’ll take out a full-page ad in the NY Times celebrating your genius.

    We just can’t bring ourselves to pay you what you’re worth.

  3. Did they discuss pay on their web site?

  4. I’ve run into outfits that think you’ll be so pathetically thrilled to have them publish you, you won’t expect money.

  5. The whole “will write for exposure” cult makes my head explode.

  6. Marva Grossman says:

    Does [NAME REDACTED] magazine have pretensions of academic journalhood? Do they think their authors are paid out of research grants? That’s the only situation in which such a policy makes sense to me.

    • Their authors are “volunteers” (no mention of this idea on their web site) and their editor said the writers are happy to contribute to the “greater good” for autism families. I asked if she got paid, and if the copyeditor got paid, and if the typesetter got paid. I didn’t hear from her again.

  7. Sleazy. And unprofessional. If you’re not a paying market, you should say so up front. Now you have written a piece that (in theory) cannot be placed elsewhere.

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