Ugh.


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Thread: Ugh.

  1. #1

    Ugh.

    I had two stories accepted by a magazine. Signed the contracts, got paid (a reasonably juicy $30 per story). That was getting close to a year ago now. Neither story has yet been published, however.

    I reached out to the editor back in August ago to ask and was told by the CEO "Once the Creative Director lets me know which magazine your story will be in, I will let you know. As of right now I'm not sure. Thanks so much." I was told I would receive a copy of the magazine in the mail and electronically via email and neither has materialized yet of course.

    My question is: At what point would I be free to move on and submit the work elsewhere? I obviously checked the contract, which was very brief and basically states exclusive English rights for six months after publication. Since publication has not apparently occurred (I checked their website) and no date was given for expiry of rights, I don't think that applies, however there was no date provided as to when it would be published or anything else regarding exclusivity of rights.

    I'm not bothered about this majorly right now, and I don't want to pester yet, but I don't want to have these two stories sitting in the dark forever and I think once a year passes that's getting silly. What's annoying is I already had to pass on two other anthologies (worse paid ones) I had already submitted the work to previously after these got sold. I feel like I'm sort of stuck here because on the one hand I did receive payment, on the other hand - $60 isn't really enough to justify parting ways with these two stories in perpetuity.

    The magazine itself is fairly well known and one I would definitely like on my resume, so I would be reluctant to give up on it yet. Partly I'm just wondering if anybody else has been in this sort of situation? Funnily enough I just heard back from an anthology who bought my work (a different story, to be clear) around the same time to let me know it would be published by December 15 (their contract actually had this date listed as a No Later Than in the contract) so maybe I'm jumping the gun worrying about it, but I haven't had the same level of communication from this magazine.

    EDIT: The magazine is not out of business, their website is active with updates and lists a fall issue which has just come out - and I am not in it.

  2. #2
    Hmmm. It is strange that they pay you, and then don't publish. I only have experience with poetry publications (without payment), where between submission and publication was a considerable amount of time, but I was kept up to date. It seems to me that you are allowed to find publication elsewhere, but I'd let them know you do in no uncertain terms. See how they respond to that.

  3. #3
    Well, I just don't like the sound of this at all. It's almost like they're saying, well, you got your money, what are worried about? I feel there's a chance this is a new type of situation, where, if it comes up again, you will know that it happens more than we might think. But since you haven't run into this before, have typically had your expectations met regarding publication in other places, I think it is worth keeping on top of. The whole attitude makes it look like all writers want is the money, and then who cares? The joy and pride you feel when you see your story available for others to read is my motivation (and a few dollars doesn't hurt ), and to have it discounted in this fashion would bother me too.

    As Darren said, I think after a year you could contact the publisher and let them know that you intended to submit your stories to other outlets, and see what they have to say. Since there is really nothing in the contract about end times, your options are kind of limited.

    Keep us posted, Lucky.
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SueC View Post
    Well, I just don't like the sound of this at all. It's almost like they're saying, well, you got your money, what are worried about? I feel there's a chance this is a new type of situation, where, if it comes up again, you will know that it happens more than we might think. But since you haven't run into this before, have typically had your expectations met regarding publication in other places, I think it is worth keeping on top of. The whole attitude makes it look like all writers want is the money, and then who cares? The joy and pride you feel when you see your story available for others to read is my motivation (and a few dollars doesn't hurt ), and to have it discounted in this fashion would bother me too.

    As Darren said, I think after a year you could contact the publisher and let them know that you intended to submit your stories to other outlets, and see what they have to say. Since there is really nothing in the contract about end times, your options are kind of limited.

    Keep us posted, Lucky.
    Yeah it's definitely weird. If they hadn't paid me I would literally not even bother about it, but accepting a payment (even a pretty token one) seems to create a moral (if not a legal) problem.

    I think possibly (hopefully) they just have a really long lead time on the stories they buy, so they buy them and use them whenever. I really don't know.

  5. #5
    Dood: Just keep on trucking. You sold 'em, now move on and write something new.
    Writers write a lot.
    Don't look back.

    Besides, if you try and republish that material they paid for, you may be burning a bridge...over a couple of short stories.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Dood: Just keep on trucking. You sold 'em, now move on and write something new.
    Writers write a lot.
    Don't look back.

    Besides, if you try and republish that material they paid for, you may be burning a bridge...over a couple of short stories.
    Mainly because as mentioned in the post I had other anthologies accept them after this place already had (to which I had submitted around the same time but once sold I had to withdraw) and that sucks. Getting work published is more important than $60...

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