This post is intended as a discussion topic.
Some magazines, for instance Take A Break, state that they pay writers on publication, as included in their writers' guidelines copied here. Now, it's been a while since I submitted anything to any womag, so I don't have recent personal experience of how quickly or otherwise TAB are getting payments out, but I have heard that lately they are frequently not paying writers until two months after publication.
I understand about month-end payments processing, but what I've heard is that TAB seem unable to state when a writer will be paid for any given story. Surely any company should be able to get a decent payments system in place, so that cheques are printed or payment credited to accounts on regular dates. Is it too much to expect that you should get your money by the end of the month in which your story was published? That gives Bauer four weeks to pay writers, as Fiction Feast comes out at the beginning of each month.
Another issue writers have with TAB payments, is that they have to guess how much they are likely to get for each story. TAB pay by the page, and until the magazine layout is finalised they can't say what you'll be paid. Lucky you if they decide to use lots of pictures and spread your story across more pages, but it's annoying for writers who rely on payments from magazines, and are unable to budget because not only do they not know when they'll be paid, they don't know how much they'll get either!
Have you had problems getting paid by TAB, or indeed any magazine? Let's air our grievances here on this blog. Remember, I accept anonymous comments, so please don't go worrying you'll be blacklisted for speaking out, though of course you should always be professional and courteous as you don't know who might be reading this.
In fact, worrying about blacklisting is a daft attitude to have. I know we all feel we are barely worthy to lick the stiletto heels of fiction editors, but actually the relationship is a symbiotic one. You know those birds which sit on hippos' backs? The hippos tolerate the birds because they get their hides kept free of insects and bugs. The birds get an easy lunch.
Fiction magazines would not survive without fiction to publish, therefore fiction editors would be out of a job without writers. To ensure they get the type and quality of stories they want, they have to pay for the stories they publish. We earn that money, we have the right to be paid on time, and we should most certainly chase payment if it is not forthcoming. Don't undervalue yourselves!
So come on, have your say, all comments welcome.