Posted by on Jan 25, 2008 in non-payment, problems with editors | 10 Comments

Ethical Dilemma

Advise me, dear readers. You may remember that way back in December I posted about a journal that hadn’t paid me, despite signing a contract with me, and that I received a snippy email from the journal’s editor when I queried the non-payment, telling me that she had more important things to worry about and I would get my money on 4 January.

I didn’t get my money.

I emailed her again on 18 January.

There has been a complete silence.

The journal is still publishing.

Now, should I name and shame and perhaps protect other writers from the same fate? Or should I say nothing if I can’t say anything nice and move on, accepting that once in a while we all get burned?

I really don’t know what to do.


  1. gallop
    25th January 2008

    Hi Kay:
    Personally, I think we writers need to talk about money, who is paying and who is not, more often. As (essentially) itinerate workers, we don’t have a union. And, contracts for writers are paying less and demanding more these days.

    That said, I don’t think you should have to take the rap alone. I’m a member of PWAC here in Canada, where writers share their experiences with each other.

    Do you or any of your readers know of other forums out there like this?

    Let me know if you do go public and need support,

    Angie Gallop

  2. Brad V.
    26th January 2008

    You should name names so other writers can be warned. If the editor thinks you are not important enough to pay, wait until no more writers will do business with them.

    Also, I’d give them another 2-4 weeks (max) to pay and then contract with a collection agency to go after the money. Even if it’s a small amount, it might be worth it.

    I just wouldn’t let this publication get away with not paying, especially since you have a written contract.

    You can also try They are unrelenting when it comes to editors who don’t pay and will plaster their name all over the internet.

    Best of luck! I hope you get the money you deserve!


  3. Charles Lambert
    26th January 2008

    Spill the beans, Kay. No one wants to submit to, or even support, a magazine that doesn’t honour its commitments, above all to its own contributors. Then send in the heavy boys from Zoetrope. (you know the ones I mean.)

  4. Charles Lambert
    26th January 2008

    Spill the beans, Kay. We need to know about magazines that don’t honour their commitments, above all to the people they depend on for material. Then send in the heavy boys from Zoetrope. You know the ones I mean.

  5. Nik's Blog
    26th January 2008

    But, looking at it from the other side of things… I do worry that you run a real risk by naming and shaming. You don’t want other editors thinking you’ll publicly complain about anything that doesn’t go your way (not that I think you do for a minute).

    Just something to keep in mind.

    Having said that I think I’d like to think I’d do it. After all, you’re not making anything up or being childish about it and you have given them plenty of opportunity to honour their terms, and do you the courtesy of returning an email.

    As long as you post it as a piece of information (which other writers will want to be aware of) and not bitch about anything, I think you’ll be fine.

    I suppose what it really comes down to is professional integrity; and that’s something you have in abundance.


  6. TitaniaWrites
    26th January 2008

    I agree – name names, that’s the least they deserve and we deserve to be warned about their behaviour. So sorry to hear this, it really pisses me off. I hope they pay up soon.


  7. Vanessa G
    27th January 2008

    Hi Kay

    What would you say to me if I asked the same question? You’d say it’s not worth it, really, that the repercussions might outweigh the satisfaction.

    However, there is nothing against sharing the information via writersweekly, as brad v suggests, or on other writers forums where information is shared.

    I am certainly happy to support as well.

  8. Admitments
    27th January 2008

    Chasing money is never pleasant. I agree with Brad, if you are to name names, which I cannot see anything wrong with, I’d do it through someone, otherwise, you never know when it may backfire. Btw, I’d personally give them another couple of weeks.

  9. Rockingham
    28th January 2008

    A journal which fails to pay the writers whom it uses is nothing but a parasite. Name, shame and boycott.

  10. sheri
    28th January 2008

    i think i would send a letter to the editor you are dealing with and perhaps someone above that person, if possible. give them two weeks or so and then in a non vendictive way i would definitely name names. they shouldnt be able to get away with that nor should they get free writing from anyone else. we all need to watch out for each other!


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