Who-pays-writers

We here at The Airship are always looking for 500 to 1,200-word blog posts that capture the essence of great storytelling or explore outstanding examples of it. And yes, we do pay our writers!

Did you visit the private prison of an infamous drug lord? Was someone murdered in your home? Has your life eerily wrapped around that of a now little-known celebrity?

Alternatively: Have you surveyed the grotesque history of book burnings? Are you dying to translate great novels into practical New Year’s resolutions? Can you pack tomes of dense philosophy into pithy one-liners?

Great! Now can you write about it in a succinct, entertaining way? If the answer is still yes, well then you’re the person we’ve been looking for! (We’re so glad to have found you!)

Send your pitches or complete personal narratives, articles and essays about anything relating to great storytelling (including — but not limited to — literature, books and writers) directly to our editor at Arv@AirshipDaily.com, and we can discuss the subject, length and rates.

I actually think it would be possible for old-school print outlets to pay better if they wouldn’t over-assign or if they didn’t have super-fancy real estate in Midtown. The notion that media is both a struggling industry and a glamour profession is totally ridiculous. If you’re a struggling industry that’s worried about declining advertising revenues, fucking pack up, move to Brooklyn, and stop triple-assigning every issue.
—  I talked to Noah Davis at The Awl about the media business.

Watching the Doctor spend seven seasons regretting the destruction of Gallifrey and his people, lamenting that there wasn’t another way, talking about how he sacrificed his family and many other innocents to end the war, and explicitly stating that if he could go back and save them he would 

then having him presented an opportunity to go back and save his family and all those innocents, as well as another way out of the war that protects the universe from Rassilon and averts the slaughter of innocent billions, and seeing him take that opportunity and do exactly what he’s saying he wishes he could do for seven seasons

somehow that doesn’t feel like nullifying or negating the Time War arc that began in 2005

somehow that feels like completing it.

Freelance Resources:

Here’s a few places that I have found helpful:

The Freelancer by Contently : Informative articles, tips, guidelines, etc. You can subscribe to their weekly emails which give you an overview of the best content from the site for that week. 

Scratch: Who Pays Writers? : An anonymous collection of what freelancers get paid and from whom. Often the submissions come with tips about pitching to that particular publication. They’re on twitter as well @WhoPaysWriters

ProBlogger Job Board : Exactly what it sounds like. I’ve gotten a few blogging gigs through here.

Happy writing!

This Week in Freelancing: The Ship That Takes Us to the Land of Better Jobs

Money earned this week: $877.64

Pieces written this week: 27

Want to read my latest Yearbook Office contribution? Here you go!

Do you like discussing bestselling personal finance books with one eyebrow skeptically raised? Join the Billfold Book Club, in which I will lead us all on a riotous discussion of Rich Dad Poor Dad. (Look, there’s a lot of solid advice in that book. And then there are the parts that are completely unhinged.)

So I’m on Contently now. It’s a great way to see all of my essays and first-person writing in one place. It is less of a good way to see my commercial writing, such as the pieces I do for Coupon Connections. 

Of course, any site like Contently which works by trawling the internet for articles with my name on them is going to completely miss the web copy, email campaigns, and ghostwriting work I do. 

And it’s going to grab my most popular article, I’m a Hack Writer who Writes 5,000 Words/Day for $20/Hr, and place it right at the top — even though that statistic is no longer true.

Now I write 3,000 words per day for $50 an hour, and, as I’m learning, even that is not considered a professional rate by Those In The Know.

I kinda got into a spat on a writing forum this week because I thought I was doing well. Going from $20/hr to $50/hr in just over a year is, like, a one hundred fifty percent raise

And then the real writers were all “Do you have any idea how you are lowballing yourself? Why are you settling for so little?” 

And I was “ummmmmmm… I didn’t think I was settling?”

There’s also the implied piece, which wasn’t a direct part of the forum argument but was maybe a concern, that my working for such a low rate makes conditions worse for everyone. I am the Gig Economy. I am the Cheerful Intern. I am the Stupid Millennial Ruining Everything, even though I am actually in the very last year of Generation X, thank you very much.

So yeah. I shouldn’t be happy that I’m earning $50/hr. I should be building a ship out of twigs and paddling it as fast as I can to the Land of Better Jobs, where they pay $150 an hour, or a dollar a word.

One thing you learn very quickly as an adult is that there are multiple realities. In fact, the very first thing I did after I finished that forum discussion was subscribe to Scratch Magazine, because I had been reading their free articles and their Who Pays Writers blog for months and because that magazine told stories from the reality I recognized

In that reality, writers who earn around $40K a year are doing pretty well for themselves. I feel like that’s The Billfold’s reality, too. That community and its concerns make sense to me because they are also my concerns.

But I’m starting to understand that there is another reality out there. One where people refuse to work for a mere $50/hr. Markets where I can ask for a dollar a word.

I have no idea how to get there. I also have no idea how working in that reality might change me. But the Land of Better Jobs is out there, if I am willing to build the ship.

It is with a mixture of regret (the feeling I would like to project) and unrestrained joy (my actual feeling) that I would like to announce that I am now charging a $3.00 processing fee for all new subscription requests sent to me by literary magazines. The proliferation of literary magazines has forced me to implement this fee. How else can I be expected to sift through all of the possible titles?
—  Chris Haven, “Announcing a New Reader Tax.”

…still mulling over me and happyjacq's earlier convo-within-a-convo-within-a-convo about the complexities of character tone vs voice. And I'm just so proud she's my writing pal you know

anonymous asked:

no disrespect, just wondering how taohun is your notp when they're the two members of exo who are obviously the closest

hey! i have nothing against their friendship and i am very aware of how close they are (and i support that!) but i have lots of reasons for why taohun is a notp of mine. most of them are personal though, and i don’t feel comfortable discussing this with an anon, i’m sorry! 

ugh I don’t even feel like a person rn like honestly I don’t

Weekend Reading - Lessons of Hollywood, by Matthew Specktor

Lessons of Hollywood: On the Fate of “Middle Class” Art
by Matthew Specktor
The Millions
April 19, 2013
http://www.themillions.com/2013/04/lessons-of-hollywood-on-the-fate-of-middle-class-art.html

This personal essay by novelist Matthew Specktor is nominally about the movie industry and the business of lit-to-screen adaptations in the 1990s. It’s interesting perspective for anyone interested in economic decision-making in ‘big’ entertainment industries (publishing included) and the (perceived) stubbornness of ‘old’ models:
 

I worked cheek-to-jowl with people in publishing, in fact my job had a great deal more to do with the world of publishing than it did with the world of film. I saw my bosses in Los Angeles a couple times per year. I spent every day on the phone with literary agents, all my free hours taking editors and writers to lunch, drinks, and dinner. I witnessed the rise of the “literary thriller,” and saw first hand the explosion, the wild proliferation of the gargantuan advance for stylish, usually young, writers unlikely to earn out. Just weeks before I started working for my two actors, Nicholas Evans’s  The Horse Whispererstirred up an enormous sensation by selling, on the basis of a slender proposal, for $3.15 million at the Frankfurt Book Fair. In other words, the book business, that fabled bastion of intellectual integrity, seemed to me to behave exactly as the film industry did. To be driven by hype, and hot air, and to involve the placement of outsized bets on individuals perhaps a little more glamorous than they were talented. It was the nature of business, and not even any particular business, that it be so.

Read the whole thing: http://www.themillions.com/2013/04/lessons-of-hollywood-on-the-fate-of-middle-class-art.html

A note on the experience of being edited:

"I feel like I’m underserved in terms of editing and that the importance of good editing is (short-sightedly, stupidly) being minimized by a lot of publications. I write for [a certain publication] whenever I can because it pays well, but I hate that I get no substantive editing. I want to continue to grow as a writer, and a big part of that is editors pushing me or showing me a different way to express something or just poking me with a stick. As a freelancer, you gotta eat, but you also want to feel like you’re getting progressively better."

Requests

Sometimes people will use the ‘ask’ function on Tumblr to ask us questions. Since these aren’t always anonymously ‘asked’ in Tumblr’s system, we’ll sometimes republish them here with a call for crowd wisdom and/or our own commentary. Writers, please feel free to reply to these questions in a reblog or on Twitter, or to contact us directly with responses to post via the “submit” link on the top of the page. Thanks for sharing, friends.

-Ed.

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Can you find out if Grantland pays its writers?
Anyone want to submit some rates for Grantland?


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What about Coffin Factory?
Anyone? Bueller?


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Something I’ve wondered throughout my writing career: why are pay rates such secrets? Why don’t publications put them out in the open?
Good question.

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Huge fan of this Tumblr! Suggestion: include how many articles, on average, writers have had published in a given time period. (i.e. X a week/month at ________.)
Not sure this would be the most useful information, or easy/possible to keep track of; it’s probably more useful if folks submit the year they were paid a particular rate, the type of relationship they had with the publication (cold pitch, longstanding relationship), etc. We’ve certainly been thinking about the issue of context a lot with this project, and we are open to suggestions, but it seems rather difficult to quantify the experience and career “level” of writers. I don’t believe noting the frequency of people’s work is an effective way to do that. Thoughts, writers? -Ed.

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A quick question that I hope you can offer guidance on: When do you ask for payment? In a query or during the submission, or not until they have indicated they want your work?
For cold pitches, I usually ask about rates after an editor indicates they want a piece - but before officially accepting the assignment, so there’s still room for negotiation. But I’m guessing different writers have different approaches. It also depends on the nature of your relationship with the editor. Anyone else want to weigh in on this issue? -Ed.

Weekend Reading: How to Write Like a Mother#^@%*&

Creative Nonfiction
Issue #47, Winter 2013 

Cheryl Strayed and Elissa Bassist on writing, success, and fame:

BASSIST: No one knows this except you and me and Rumpus senior literary editor Julie Greicius, but I originally signed my letter “Elizabeth Gilbert.” It was a joke, and you said you loved the signature for a couple of reasons:

One is, of course, she’s this incredibly successful, rich, on-the-bestseller-list-for-YEARS-NOW woman writer whom so many of us would like to loathe for all the aforementioned reasons. Two is, of course, she’s this incredibly human, real, serious, worthy-of-our-sisterhood writer who, we’d all do well to remember, worked her tail off, and just because lightning struck with her fourth book, it doesn’t mean we should loathe her. In fact, actually, she, too, has to deal with all sorts of bullshit when it comes to her work as a woman, her insight, her ‘story,’ which is read as entirely specific (which is to say ‘feminine’) rather than universal (which is to say ‘male’). But don’t get me started. Well, actually, you did get me started.

Now, you are in Elizabeth Gilbert’s position: an incredibly successful, rich, best-selling woman writer whom so many of us would like to loathe for the aforementioned reasons. And, of course, you are an incredibly human, real, serious, worthy-of-our-sisterhood writer who, we’d all do well to remember, worked her tail off. What would you say if I said I feel jealous of you?

STRAYED: I would say you shouldn’t waste your energy on jealousy. Ever, ever! But especially on people like me. I’ve been writing a lot longer than you have. When I was in my twenties, it never occurred to me to be jealous of writers who were in their forties, writers like Mary Gaitskill and Anne Lamott and Mary Karr, who are all about fifteen years older than I am—the same age difference as between us. They weren’t my competition because I wasn’t in their league. With all Sugary affection, Elissa, you haven’t yet earned the right to be jealous of me.

BASSIST: You once wrote to me, “Success is a pile of shit somebody stacked up real high. It means nothing.” Now that your relationship to “conventional success” has changed, has your view of success stayed the same?

STRAYED: My definition of success has been developed over many years full of both successes and failures. My trajectory has not been failure, failure, failure, then success. The successes have been there all along, and all along, there’s also been a steady stream of rejections and disappointments. I imagine this will always be the case. It’s the writer’s life. It’s true that Wild’s reception, in particular, has been rather breathtaking, but it hasn’t made me measure success differently. I keep faith with the work. Wild would be the book that it is regardless of how many people read it. I’m very sure about that. When I say, “Success is a pile of shit somebody stacked up real high,” I mean it’s folly to measure your success in money or fame. Success in the arts can be measured only by your ability to say yes to this question: “Did I do the work I needed to do, and did I do it like a motherfucker?”

BASSIST: When I moved to New York, I named the wireless network in my new apartment “Famous.” How fucked up is this?

STRAYED: It’s incredibly fucked up. Have you talked to your therapist about this?

BASSIST: He’s the one who recommended Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.

STRAYED: It seems to me it would help if you refocused what it is you’re trying to be. Do you want to be famous, or do you want to be a great writer? Sometimes those two things are one and the same, but often they aren’t.

BASSIST: I christened the wireless network “Famous” before the letter was published, when I thought fame was the intersection of writing and money.

What’s miraculous to me about the process of writing to you, and having you write back, is how it’s altered my core architecture as a person. I had cared deeply about being famous, so much so that it was getting in the way of my writing, and once you called me out on it, I was able to see it was true. As Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights said to the Dillon Panthers: “Success is a byproduct.”

If I were tech-savvy enough to change my network name, I would change it to “Humility/Surrender.”

STRAYED: I think most writers feel the same way at the beginning—that fame is the definition of success. In my early twenties, I used to go to readings by famous authors and fantasize about being that person on the stage someday. The longing for success is a healthy force when it drives you forward in the hard times, and because of that, I think it’s kind of sweet you gave your wireless network the name “Famous,” but part of maturing as a writer is understanding how to measure success. It’s not fame and money for many writers. I mean, walk around the AWP conference, and you’ll encounter hundreds of successful, accomplished writers who are not famous or rich—or, at least, not rich from their writing. The other thing I’d like to note is that we’re talking about a very particular kind of fame when we talk about famous writers. If you asked people what they think of Alice Munro, most would reply, “Alice who?”

BASSIST: To which I’d respond, “Alice Motherfucking Munro, that’s who.”

Read the whole thing.