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Attention all you Journos (freelance writers thread )

44 replies

unicorn · 11/08/2004 23:03

Given that there are so many real, and aspiring writers out here,I just thought maybe we could have a thread whereby the successful ones, can help us aspiring ones?
ie. my current question is regards etiquette; when you submit a 'proposal' to a (magazine) editor- how long should you wait (before submitting elsewhere) for a yes/no re commission?

OP posts:
crunchie · 19/08/2004 10:12

Aloha!!! Are you there???

Real Magazine HAS NOT FOLDED!!!

I work for the company who has just bought the mag, and our editor is crying out for freelance journo who know there way around this sort of mag. All our other titles are home interest.

Please please contact me ASAP on lucy at essentialpublising dot co dot uk with all your details, I am trying to help her get some great contacts together.

Also anyone else who writes for mainstream womens interst mags and has some great ideas, please email me. I am out of the office today - leaving now, but will deal with it all tomorrow am.


aloha · 19/08/2004 13:44

Crunchie! Hi, amazed as I heard it had vanished forever - had no idea it was being bought. It had spectacularly good ABC figures. I will certainly email you and I know other people (eg Skie) who also worked for Real who would be interested. Thanks for letting me know! When I email you, you can tell me the whole story, please.

Unicorn, oh dear, I have known this happen, but it is August and a lot of people are away. Try again and leave a message saying you don't mind if she has changed her mind but could she just call to let you know either way. As for money I never pay, but sometimes the magazines do have a budget for case studies. Ask them. They might be able to pay £50 - £100. The weeklies are far more likely to pay than monthlies. Good luck.

unicorn · 11/09/2004 00:11

ok-my latest poser for aloha/MI(and any other professionals out there).. when is a commission not a commission?

basically the editor (after careful consideration!)has decided not to use my piece (because my contact didn't seem credible...FFS she is a woman who has been to hell and back- but it's too much for their magazine)
anyway my Question is re..the issue of kill fee..( I am afraid this green one didn't negotiate that, I just had an e-mail commission detail,with nothing about a kill.
Very bad practice I think as an editor, but I guess it is ed's prerogative?
I spose I will have to be philospohical and treat this is just a learning experience?
Very annoying nevertheless.

OP posts:
Arabica · 11/09/2004 18:12

Hi Unicorn. Haven't read all this thread, just delighted to find other freelance journo mums out there! I'm a freelancer with a few years' magazine experience. Normally I wouldn't expect to be formally commissioned until after the commissioning ed had approved the case study I was proposing to use (which in some cases means them seeing a photo in case she's a minger--sad but true). All the magazines I write for make me sign a commissioning form which, in addition to signing away all my rights, specifies how much the kill fee should be in the event of it not being suitable. I don't write anything until I know there's a formal commission in it.

motherinferior · 11/09/2004 19:25

I vary with the case studies - if I know the mag's very choosy, especially about looks, I keep in touch; otherwise I don't, although I do often drop an email saying I've got them. I'm not being very helpful on kill fees, am I - hope someone who's had more success than me negotiating them comes along (this did happen to me once, years ago, and I wasn't nearly tough enough about getting anything for it).

coddychops · 11/09/2004 19:25

mi can you contact us?
mine is having no effect
have yo a number?

motherinferior · 11/09/2004 19:26

will do, oh codster, will CAT now.

motherinferior · 11/09/2004 19:27

oh, but what name are you under for CAT?

coddychops · 11/09/2004 19:27

no not contact me
contact the team
about you know what

coddychops · 11/09/2004 19:27
motherinferior · 11/09/2004 19:28

I am being very dense. Sorry, need clues!

coddychops · 11/09/2004 19:29

contactus is not working to gett he team to look att he calpol thread

motherinferior · 11/09/2004 19:35

Done, contacted J/R&C as well directly.

unicorn · 12/09/2004 00:05

Arabica,MI,(or anyone else in the biz)
would you say a phone chat and an e-mail commission (not a contract)was NOT therefore a definate commission?
I just need to wise up a bit in this game.

OP posts:
motherinferior · 12/09/2004 20:12

I get commissioned by email all the time. ALL the time. In fact it's a rare commissioner who backs it up with anything 'real'. IMO an email is a commission - I get a bit wary before I've got one, if I'm just going on a conversation.

But I may be just naive and stupid...

Arabica · 12/09/2004 21:41

Hmm. All depends, Unicorn, on whether the commission was dependent on the case study being OK. What my commissioning eds usually say is something like, 'Sounds good, but can I just have a little bit more information on the case study and then I will get back to you with a firm brief if the ed agrees.' Everyone I write for does a brief, even if it's just a one-liner saying 'can you do the usual with this one but play down the alien marriage because we just did one of those last month.' You should always get a brief because it covers your ass if they imply as they sometimes do, that you didn't do what they wanted (ie they changed their minds and forgot to tell you) Hope this helps. Oh and when you do get a commission (advice from a lazy old pro here), for goodness sake file close to the deadline, otherwise you're giving them too much time to change their minds about what they want!! Good luck with your career. If you live in/near London and can make it to one of their meetings, Women In Journalism is a good way to make contact with other writers. If you want contact details let me know.

willow2 · 13/09/2004 15:21

I'd be interested in that Arabica.

willow2 · 13/09/2004 15:22

Also, Crunchie, I sent you an email regarding Real - did you ever get it? My email account is really playing up at the moment so can't be sure if it arrived or you are just ignoring me!

Arabica · 13/09/2004 18:01

For anyone interested in Women In Journalism - I haven't tried doing a link before so apologies if this doesn't work properly! Click here

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