In an earlier I mentioned that I had received an assignment to write an article for a trade magazine. The editor asked me to interview and write an article about a local dessert establishment. The article needed to be 1500 words with technical jargon and completed in one week. With several pitfalls (such as the time allowed to write the article with the needed research and the owner I interviewed hard to reach with followup questions) I managed to complete it in a week.
I submitted it to the editor and, of course, asked if the article was satisfactory. He replied it was and will keep me in mind for future articles. Now let’s fast forward until a week ago. I have not heard from the editor since November (when I submitted the article) and I could not find the article anywhere. I sent an email in December and another one several weeks later. My sister urged me to give him a call.
Imagine my surprise we I queried him about the appearance of the story he off-handedly replied. “I had to trash it because it wasn’t up snuff.”
Here are some facts to keep in mind:
1) The editor only gave me one week to write an article for his TRADE (meaning technical [facts, equipment, methods, etc] jargon heavy) magazine.
2) He is an editor. It’s his job to work with writers to fix a story.
3) Knowing that I haven’t written in awhile he gave me this story with very little guidance in what to do. He sent me a previous article about an ice cream establishment in another city and told me to base my story off of that.
4) A publication not using a story is a pitfall of the freelance business, but he could have told me this WEEKS ago. I had to call him to find out this tidbit of information. That’s like asking your boss if you are fired because you have not received a paycheck.
5) And I’m extra salty about this because I was offered $350 for this gig.
After I hung up the phone and several hours later recovered from this passive aggressive laden shock I became annoyed. Once again it is not the issue that he did not use the article, but it was the fact he could not at least emailed me to say so.
YogaKat said if I had a contract at least I could have argued for a kill fee. Of course the agreement was all word of mouth. The only card in my favor was that the writer who eventually wrote the article (yes, he reassigned the story to another writer) could not use my research. I have tapes and drafts.
Oh that would have been ugly.
Capt. Snack and a co-worker said I should tweak the article and sell it somewhere else. I intend to do so. I am just very disappointed. It seems everything I touch I destroy. Sometimes I feel like I was born under an unlucky star. There is no sense crying about the situation … and I have not cried about this at all!
Besides it made an interesting blog entry.
If I cannot find an outlet for my article Capt. Snack said I should post it here. I’m sure my five blog readers will find my gelato article fascinating.