sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Politically speaking, Jay Ovittore and I hardly agree on anything. But I was glad to see where he leveraged his blog into a piece in Yes! weekly.

Then I read over at Hoggard's where Yes! didn't pay Jay anything for the piece. No publication deserves such a favor from its contributors. You're helping them fill copy space without digging into the ad revenue. Too sweet a deal. Hold out, Jay.

An old writing teacher once told me told me never to write for nothing. Make the rag pay you something. I was once a struggling writer (check that: still am) and I would have gladly written just for a byline. I was never paid for work I did for TV Party, but president Billy Ingram took me out for dinner and drinks a few times.

But after that, I made a resolution: No pay, no piece. I remember I submitted a review of a book on the siege at Waco to a local publication. "On spec" if you will, admittedly a sign of amateurism. I got a call from a lady at the publication who said they were interested in running it. I asked how much they paid.

"Oh," she said, "we don't pay contributors."

As bad as I needed the clip, I thought about what my teacher said. Don't run it, I told her. I haven't written for nothing since.

The publication? The Rhinoceros Times. The writing teacher? Scott Yost.


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