I don’t give it away

After three months of waiting to hear back about an important targeted-audience piece I had in mind, I got this e-mail.

Hi Robin,

Unfortunately we do not pay writers fees. _____ was set up rather like a scholarly journal in that respect, with a certain level of peer review and payment in prestige. Our Editorial Advisory Board will not move away from that model. Coming out of the commercial magazine industry, it’s an adjustment for me; I am accustomed to hiring freelance writers and to paying honoraria to academics.

I’m sorry about this, and I understand completely if you cannot write the article under these circumstances.


My response:

Hi, _____…

This is depressing news. The magazine looks like a general-audience publication, not a peer-reviewed journal.

Because this practice is becoming more widespread in the magazine industry, I made a decision some years ago not to write pieces for free, for clips, or for beginners’ rates. Writing is how I make my living.

I’m sorry.


I don’t think I’ll be renewing my pricey membership in this organization. 

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