I recently answered a call for submissions to write articles for a newsletter. This was to be an ongoing position, but the advertisement didn’t mention remuneration, article length, or turnaround time. I contacted the person who posted the article and asked questions about these issues.
What I got back was an open email
telling me – and every other writer who contacted him – what the aim of the publication was (to have articles written for a dating magazine), but apart from saying they would require articles twice a week, my questions were not answered.
So I wrote back, again asking specific questions. I received another email, and again my questions were not answered. The person concerned did however say he was taking ‘quotes’ and would take the cheapest one.
But I still didn’t know what he wanted. So I wrote again, this time withdrawing my interest.
What I received back was a very nasty email from the person saying I was ‘too quick to judge.’ In this final email from him, he finally mentioned that he was looking for someone skilled, but wanted the cheapest price he could get.
Call me stubborn, even call me stupid, but I wrote back and told him what I thought in the nicest possible way. I let him know that taking the cheapest quote was not necessarily the best option. That if he needed or wanted an experienced newsletter writer, then lowest price shouldn’t come into the equation. My twelve plus years of experience in this area could have proven more valuable to him than securing someone at the cheapest rate he could lay his hands on.
He wrote back and agreed. By this time it was too late. I’d had several emails back and forth with this ‘editor’ over a period of less than thirty minutes. During that time he had been elusive, arrogant, and downright rude.
After the second email with him I’d decided not to pursue this position, even though it was ongoing work. It came through loud and clear that he was not only inexperienced (which is not necessarily a bad thing), but he had no respect whatsoever for the writers he was dealing with.
At no time did he disclose the name of the magazine, whether it was a print magazine or for the internet, and how young or old the publication was. These are all important issues for writers, and of course, if the publication was internet based, it makes a huge difference to the length of articles to be produced.
I’ve only once before come across something like this, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. If our first, second, or even third encounter with an editor is not particularly good, then what will your subsequent dealings be like?
I’ve worked with loads of editors over the years, but only two have been unprofessional like this. The majority of editors are easy to work with, very trustworthy, and treat writers with respect. If they don’t, then my friend, you have a problem.
Writers are the bread and butter of publications. Without us, there would be no magazine, or website, or whatever it is they’re producing.
Go with your gut; if things don’t feel right, forget it. Run a mile. And don’t look back.
Copyright Cheryl Wright - Used with permission. All Rights Reserved.
Cheryl Wright is an award-winning Australian author and freelance journalist. In addition to an array of other projects, she is the owner of the Writer2Writer.com website and the Writer to Writer monthly ezine for writers. Her publications include novels, non-fiction books, short stories, and articles. Her upcoming release is “The Write Resources” from Central Avenue Press. Visit Cheryl’s website www.cheryl-wright.com