Dear Aliya

From my In Box: Dear Aliya: Your site is a great resource for new freelancers. Thanks for offering your advice and experiences. I have a query. I'm still a student, but starting my career as a young journalist based in New York. I have a regular gig with a prominent website, but recently I had my first foray with print. I wrote up my pitch and sent it in (to a national weekly). Call it beginners luck but they bought it soon afterwards. I know things can move slowly with a magazine and that editors can sit on stories for as long as they want. They can even enact the dreaded kill fee. I recently filed the story and to be honest, I don't know anything about its current status. Is there anyway to know if a story is being sat on? or whether its death is being contemplated? Thanks much, I hope to hear your advice, -Alex ____________________________________________________________________________________ What I love about my blog is that when I hear from new freelancers, they are going through the same things I'm going through, even with ten years in the game. My response to Alex:

So yesterday, I responded to a dear reader who is being stiffed by a magazine for 500.00. I gave some advice. Thing is, I wanted to give Broke In Brooklyn two examples. But I ran out of time. I really want BIB to know about another situation that happened to me. Years after the episode with the fashion magazine. It's a situation that still makes my blood run cold today. A few years ago, I was approached to ghostwrite/collaborate on my very first celebrity memoir. What happened is a cautionary tale that must be shared...

From my InBox: Dear Aliya: This is for that section on your blog when you give advice. I am so mad. It's been a year. And a magazine that I wrote a story for still has not paid me. I have called, emailed and sent snail mail. At first, they just kept saying one more month. And now, no one is even returning my calls or emails. This was my first story for this magazine. And it's a national publication. I know that all magazines are going through it right now. But I'm pissed. It's not like I don't need the money. And how come they can't even reach out and give me the real deal on what's going on? That is so disrespectful to me. Now what do I do? They owe me 500.00. Which is nothing to them. But it's something to me. My friends have told me that if I try too hard to get the money back, I won't be able to write for the magazine ever again. I'm just starting out.  I don't want to lose this connection. But it's been a year and they have not assigned me anything else anyway. Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do? Signed, Broke in Brooklyn My (extended) response to Broke...