Letters To The Editor For April 5th


Just a short note to say how much I appreciate your newsletter – especially the Paying Markets section. This week I sold ANOTHER piece as a direct result of this feature.


Chuck Klein

Is Email Etiquette Passe’ in Publishing?

Ami Ahlstedt’s article about email and editors brought many things I often wonder about — as a freelancer working from home going nuts over the way editors communicate.

Most have better manners than what she described, but I suspect I’d be out of work if I nixed them over finer points like salutations.

I wonder what kind of responses to expect when I’ve turned in a story.

Do freelancers have a right to know when the story will be edited, so they can schedule to be at the computer if there are questions?

Do freelancers have a right to know when the story is scheduled to be published?

And if the story is killed or delayed, a right to know why?

Common sense would say yes — common practice is no.

I’ve asked these questions and rarely get an answer. The non-answer is incredibly aggravating. Often these editors are quite encouraging but once the article is in, they can’t be bothered.


Non-Paying Pubs Are Often Cheap AND Greedy!

Dear Angela:

You know what I’ve found in publications that don’t pay writers with money for accepted works? They often want First Rights, and exclusivity periods for accepted works, plus first publication credit for reprints…with the attitude they are doing you a favor.

I’ve even been lectured by some literary editors whose publications don’t pay, who quip, “I don’t know any literary publications that pay.” They obviously don’t research markets or are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of unsuspecting writers.

Ironically, many paying publications are more liberal about rights issues, sometimes just wanting one-time rights with no exclusivity, so you can re-sell your work simultaneousy or right after your work has been published.

Angela, I liked what you said back in 2004, when I began getting your newsies. You told start-ups (paraphrased) that even if they have to dig into their own wallets and give a writer something (a few bucks even), then do it. Many people think we writers get our groceries for free, and the light/gas company gives free service to us because we write.

I just find it, well…almost unconsciable that some of these editors who want ‘so much’ won’t give up even a dollar.

My advice to writers would be this: If you aren’t getting cold hard cash or Paypal for your works, ask yourself this: Am I at least getting some kind of “compensation”, other than “just being published”, that will be of benefit for me in my writing career?

If you believe you are, that’s fine, but I would be very cautious of any publication who wants you to give away so many rights to your work just for the ‘privilege’ of being published, and that’s ALL you get.

Roy A. Barnes

Publisher’s Note: I agree completely. The non-paying pubs either don’t know what they’re doing, or know they’re ripping off writers and don’t care because there are so many newbies who are willing to let themselves be victimized.

And, yes, real literary publications do pay. You can find some of those by searching for the word “literary” under the Search Markets and Jobs drop-down here: https://search.writersweekly.com/

Remember, we don’t publish any non-paying markets on WritersWeekly…and we never have. Writing ezines and magazines that do feature non-paying pubs should get an earful from their readers (hint!). If writing publications stopped supporting these non-paying publications, they’d either have to start paying or they’d go out of business. And, no, if you’re a newbie, you don’t need these non-paying pubs to get clips! Plenty of real pubs pay new writers. Don’t believe me? Search for the term “welcomes new writers” here: https://search.writersweekly.com/

If will take you an entire day or more to read all the paying markets that will pop up.