Friday, 5 March 2010

Bits and pieces of news

There are a few bits of news from the world of womag which I'd like to draw your attention to - thanks to all who've passed me these snippets!

Firstly - note new required word-count at Yours. Stories need to be 1000-1200 words (previously they took up to 1500). See Olivia Ryan's blog for more details. Note too they are up-to-date with submissions up to December, so if you are waiting to hear about one sent before then, do query it.

Secondly - My Weekly's 6-month cut-off period is not always set in stone. People have had stories accepted after 7 or 8 months. So if you've got something out there you are about to give up on, it could be worth giving it a little bit longer...

Thirdly - the bad news is, as long suspected, The Lady are no longer taking unsolicited fiction. I think for some time now they have only published stories from their competitions. Must admit it's been a long time since I tried them anyway.

Finally and most importantly - does anyone know what's happening about payment from Take A Break? They always used to pay reasonably promptly within about 4 weeks of publication. I've heard recently of writers (not me, I haven't sold to them for months, sob sob) who've not yet been paid for stories in the March issue, which has been out for more than a month now. I do feel strongly that the relationship between writer and magazine should be a professional one, and both sides should treat the other with respect. Keeping writers waiting for payment they are due is not fair and we should not have to put up with it. All comments welcome on this topic, and as usual, feel free to remain anonymous if you prefer.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi womag, I've sold about a dozen or so stories to TAB over the years for the weekly, FF, and specials, and I've had no problems with payment except one cheque that went missing in the mail - so that wasn't their fault. Because TAB is such a wellpaying market I personally would be prepared to give them a bit more leeway before I started questioning why a payment hasn't arrived. For example if the mag has come out all Feb, I would leave it about six weeks after the end of Feb and then query if no payment has arrived. But that's just me and if others are used to being paid quicker, then anything "out of the norm" would raise questions for them.

Geraldine Ryan said...

Anon, I would have agreed with you about the promptness and predictability of TAb payment until recently. Have you sold a story since October of last year however, as it is since this time that their payment has become erratic?

If a mag has always been all over the place with payment then we'd have all got used to it by now, but it's when it suddenly comes out of the blue. It seems to have changed its old pattern for a disturbing new one, so that contributors have no idea when they are going to be paid.

Kath said...

Re My Weekly, I don't really have much hope of selling to them although I do have a few stories still with them (last one subbed in November). I have submitted a couple elsewhere after about seven months, but sent them a "for the avoidance of doubt, the six months you stipulate is up and I'm now submitting elsewhere" sort of email first and then left it for about a week.

Anonymous said...

Regarding TAB payment. I had a story accepted in August that appeared in Jan's issue and I am still waiting payment. This is my living so it is a bit scary to wait so long. However I emailed Norah this week and she said that TAB are currently installing a new banking system that has unfortunately caused delays. I have other stories in the system that I am awaiting payment for but I am hoping this is a blip that will soon be sorted.

Anonymous said...

Regarding TAB payment. I had a story accepted in August that appeared in Jan's issue and I am still waiting payment. This is my living so it is a bit scary to wait so long. However I emailed Norah this week and she said that TAB are currently installing a new banking system that has unfortunately caused delays. I have other stories in the system that I am awaiting payment for but I am hoping this is a blip that will soon be sorted.

Anonymous said...

Oh, well that's something, I guess! Fingers crossed!

penandpaints said...

Hi Womag
Re My Weekly, the six month policy of theirs is horribly vague, but i agree with Kath, if you want to send a story elsewhere, perhaps a quick email informing them would be the best thing.
Re The Lady, that's a shame, I'm still waiting to hear about a story subbed 13 months ago! I emailed and was asked to wait a little longer. How much is a little?
Sigh

Colette McCormick said...

I've never sold to TAB so hopefully by the time that I do (got to live in hope) the blips will be sorted. I did however have a simialr problem with another magazine when they were installing their new system. It seems to be a common problem with these systems and I'm sure that once the problem is sorted, going forward evrything will be okay. I know that doesn't help you anon so I hope that they get it sorted soon.
As for My Weekly, they have a couple of my stories but I'm not really holding out much hope for them.
Thanks for the update womag

womagwriter said...

Interesting about the new banking system at TAB. I am glad there is a reason why payments are late, but must admit I'm still not happy about it. All businesses need to be able to pay their suppliers on time, regardless of problems with banking systems.

Geraldine Ryan said...

Absolutely, and we shouldn't be hearing about it from a third party!

scrappy'smum said...

Hi sorry to change the subject a bit but I just wondered how long Take A Break usually take to reject/accept a story? I've sent a couple to them for the first time. Also how specfic are they on word counts? Love reading this blog it really is invaluable!!!

womagwriter said...

Hi Scrappy's Mum. They vary, but usually between one and four months, in my experience. TAB are the least fussy about word counts - anything from 800-4000 words is in with a chance I would say.

SarahE said...

My Weekly have just issued the latest guidelines. From March to May. I only know because I asked and 2 days later it was sent to me. Lots of open slots - 1200 word stories including children, long reads, romances of 1200 and 2000 etc. Secondly - The Lady has commissioned writer Jennifer Rushton (novel 'Luxury')to write a short story for them each week!! I saw this fact advertised in a Sunday supplement.

SarahE said...

My Weekly have just issued the latest guidelines. From March to May. I only know because I asked and 2 days later it was sent to me. Lots of open slots - 1200 word stories including children, long reads, romances of 1200 and 2000 etc. Secondly - The Lady has commissioned writer Jennifer Rushton (novel 'Luxury')to write a short story for them each week!! I saw this fact advertised in a Sunday supplement.

scrappy'smum said...

Thanks Womag that's really helpful.

womagwriter said...

Sarah, thanks for the heads up about the latest MW guidelines. I only just realised the last ones are out of date.

Interesting about The Lady commissioning fiction. Annoying for us short-story writers though, as it is another market closed to us.

Cathos said...

Hi - I'm waiting payment for a story in Jan TAB. Norah was very helpful and chased it - but still not arrived - they seem to have changed from sending out cheques to going to a BACs system as I've had to supply all my banking details. It'll be nice when it arrives!

Sally Quilford said...

You'd think that if they're changing their system to BACS, they'd contact all the writers with stories awaiting publication to ask for details, wouldn't you?

I've got a story in April's edition, so I'm wondering how it's going to pan out, payment wise. It's obviously far too soon for me to chase it up yet.

Anonymous said...

I don't see it as helpful if someone "chases" payment but then doesn't deliver it. And regarding the BACS system, many TAB contributors have been on that system for years. And their money still isn't coming either.

Geraldine Ryan said...

Don't hold your breath, Sally!

Cathos said...

Hi - Norah did phone me and ask for my details (and I'm by no means that regular a contributor) although still haven't got paid!

BigFatLion said...

Some money dropped into my bank account from FF this morning. I've been waiting for payments since November.

Let's hope the backlog is finally starting to clear.

Tickle said...

I got paid into my bank account from TAB today too so hopefully they have sorted the problem. Horrible to have to chase payment via the fiction editor as I'm worried it will spoil our 'relationship' but we do have to eat!

Geraldine Ryan said...

None for me yet. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!