This morning it snowed here, so after our phones all rang to tell us that school was delayed by two hours, we slept in. That’s why I got to my email a little late this morning. But when I did, I was instantly awake after I read a note from Bob, our illustrious editor.
It seems that Bob, in his never ending hunt for new contributors, got an unexpected response from a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. This is what Bob wrote.
Good Day -
My name is Bob Grant and I have a website for writers named Speak Without Interruption www.speakwithoutinterruption.com . Since December 2008 we have had a little under 4,000 posts to the site from both professional and amateur writers – we are now averaging around 800 visitors per day. I obtained your name from the SPJ Freelancer Directory and extend an invitation to you to become a contributor to our site. You may post previously written material and/or material you write through other venues. If you are interested please reply to me atSpeakWithoutInterruption@gmail.com
I do not make any money from this site nor do I pay for participation. I do not edit or censor what is written. The contributors are encouraged to write about any topic or subject that is of interest to them and I have no minimum number of posts required to remain a contributor.
I look forward to your consideration and reply.
This is what he got back.
Date: Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 1:23 PM
Subject: Re: An invitation to write for our site
To: Bob Grant <SpeakWithoutInterruption@gmail.com>
Cc: Joe Skeel <firstname.lastname@example.org>, MWGuild Nwsgp <email@example.com>
You are one of many website operators who pay little or nothing for other people’s work. The Freelancers Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild maintains a list of those operators. Don’t be surprised if your name appears soon thereupon.
C: Joe Skeel, SPJ Executive Director
Pacific Media Workers Guild Freelance Unit
I don’t know how you feel about that, but I took the liberty of writing Mr. Knee myself, and I hope you will too. Here’s what I wrote:
SWI is a completely open site for authors and writers to donate their work for the express purpose of being read. In the almost three years I have been a contributor no piece has been edited or censored for content. Imagine that. The freedom to say whatever you want on any topic with only public reaction as feedback.
As a writer and national columnist, SWI gives me the opportunity to have an outlet for other subjects I might want to cover, rather than whatever the market will pay for. Apparently you don’t see the value in that. Rather you accuse our editor of trying to cheat you out of your dollar a word advertising fee. This is the same man who pays for SWI out of his own pocket. If you don’t want to offer a 30,000 hit a month, advertising free outlet to your membership, that’s fine. Go ahead and please put us on your infamous list of sites that don’t pay. I look forward to seeing your display in the “Museum of publishing professionals that didn’t get it.”
Some of us are tired of just writing the insipid crap the industry will pay for, that is not how the art of writing grows. I won’t take up any more of your time as I’m sure you have a deadline to meet on that crucial “Arranging sprinklers for a fabulous lawn” piece for “Dunce” magazine.