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Thread: GSN Publications

  1. #1
    figuring it all out Sarah Skilton's Avatar
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    Unhappy Warning - GSN Publications

    You know it's a bad sign when the entire editing staff quits...

    Hi, everyone. I decided to de-lurk in order to warn you all about GSN Publications. In February 2005 the editors for T'Campus Life (and several other start-up titles under the apparently false company GSN) requested queries and stories. Over the next couple of months, at least fifty writers (including me) signed contracts for already-completed articles promising .35/word payable within 60 days of publication. The premiere issue was supposed to launch this summer but got pushed back twice. Concept overviews, writer guidelines, agreements and assignment sheets were delivered to all the freelancers and everything appeared to be on-track if a little chaotic. Then this weekend all the editors resigned, offered us our contracts back and reported that their boss was a fraud who didn't have enough money to pay them, us, or the printers and had apparently fabricated his ability to do so for months. His name is Forace Watts, and again, the company is GSN. I've seen them advertise on freelancewriting.com among other public boards for another title called Eden, offering .35/word. Be wary.

    The editors of T'Campus, as far as I can tell, all did their jobs as well as they could and were totally honest and upfront with the writers once they discovered what was going on. They may or may not form a new publishing company with similar titles later on.

    That's about it.
    Sarah Skilton, Freelance Writer



  2. #2
    billyJack
    Guest

    GSN Publications SCAM

    Be careful of an outfit calling themselves GSN Publications. They say they are starting over 20 magazines but have never published anything after a few years of operation. It's run by a guy named Forace Watts and his assistant Bernard. They seem to order a ton of content and then never pay the writers. They have gone through a whole slew of editors who keep quiting because they don't pay. They have some internship thing with high schools too that doesn't seem on the up and up to me.
    Just be careful and check them out before doing business with them. I would avoid them entirely after waht they did to me and some friends.

  3. #3
    Fig of authority
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    If they don't publish anything, what do they do with the content they order?

    Warnings like this usually go on the Bewares and Background Check forum. Don't be surprised if your post turns up moved.

    Edit: Looks like someone reported GSN a few months ago, in this post:

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...ad.php?t=12639
    Last edited by reph; 12-02-2005 at 12:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Troubled-Talks with animals. jdkiggins's Avatar
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    I'm moving this to Beware and Background check forum.
    Joanne aka: writeafterdark
    PERSEVERANCE: TO PERSIST IN SPITE OF DIFFICULTIES ~jdk http://www.moondance.org/2001/winter...severance.html

    I'm proud to say Perseverance was chosen to be part of Absolute Write's Katrina anthology, Stories of Strength.
    This essay has been published 47 times since it was written.

    Poise--the art of raising an eyebrow instead of the roof.

  5. #5
    craig1895
    Guest

    Beware of GSN Publications!!!

    Hi, I am writing to inform everyone on here to beware of a company calling themselves GSN Publications. It is run by a man named Forace Watts and his assistant 'Bernard'. I have seen similar warnings on the internet regarding this man but I would like to tell the story of what he did to my wife. My wife was 'hired' by Mr. Watts to be Editor-in-Chief of a startup magazine geared toward teenagers age 12-17. He told her he would pay her a nice salary and would even pay her performance bonuses, and would pay her writers $.35 per published word. My wife insisted on a contract, which he sent unsigned! Reading the contract, I could see how unprofessional this man and his company were, with a ton on grammar mistakes and speling errors. The main part that peeked my interest was the last part of the agreement which states that if my wife had a problem with any part of the contract, the dispute would be resolved before a judge in Fulton County, GA. This is why this man seeks out writers from out of state. If you live in California for example, and Mr. Watts refuses to pay your for your services, are you really going to spend the money to fly to Georgia to dispute him ? Probably not.

    Mr. Watts agreed to fly in my wifes photography assistant to help out with a photo shoot that was going to take place and be published in the magazine. Everytime my wife asked him for the plane tickets, he would come up with some excuse. When she did a model search for the magazine, she asked him for a model release form from GSN Publications (which does not exist, I will explain that in a moment). He never sent the model release forms, saynig his computer kept crashing. She asked him for his FedEX account number so a dress designer could ship the dresses for the photo shoot, and Mr. Watts told her he didn't have one. When my wife confronted Mr. Watts about the information posted about him on this website, he told her that he wanted to publish the magazine, but came down with an illness. The suspicions went on and on. I am a police officer and I will tell you that I have dealt with people like this all the time and this guys stories NEVER added up. Needless to say that Mr. Watts never purchased the plane tickets as he promised. A few days ago he called my wife and told her he needed all of her contact information for all of the companies that were providing services for the magazine. She asked him why he needed that and he told her that for insurance purposes, GSN needed to buy insurance for any items being shipped for the photo shoot. When my wife explained to him that FedEx or UPS insures the packages, he insisted she give him all of the information, as well as any and all articles she edited. She told him that she would make a deal with him...she would give him the information if he sent her the conformation for her assistants plane tickets. Mr. Watts flipped out and told her he would cancel the whole magazine. My wife hung up and sent him a letter of resignation. My wife was also in contact with the graphics designer for the supposed magazine, who told her Mr. Watts has not paid him in OVER 3 MONTHS!!!!!

    I did a little leg work and looked into Mr. Watts and GSN Publications, Inc. According to records on file with the Georgia Secretary of State, Mr. Watts has HAD several corporations, all either dissolved or REVOKED by the State of Georgia. His current corporation is legally named Georgia Sports Network, Inc. Mr. Watts is the Secretary. A Fatisha Watts is the CEO and a Fonique Watts is the CFO....Sounds like a family affair to me!!!! As of today, Mr. Watts' corporation is in an "Active/Noncompliance" status, meaning the corporation is technically active, but the last time Mr. Watts paid his fees and filed the REQUIRED paperwork with the State was on July 29, 2004. Do you see how he misleads people by calling his company GSN Publications, Inc. ?

    I am sorry to be so long winded but I wanted to alert everyone to this mans scam. If he still intends to publish this magazine, he will look for more unsuspecting victims out of state to write content for him...You have been warned!!

    Craig craig1895@verizon.net

  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    ...
    06-20-2006, 04:31 PM
    drjeep
    Esteemed New Member

    Thank you all very much for this information. I signed on with GSN Publications about a month ago and have yet to be paid. I do not write professionally and was not hired as a writer. I was hired as the Director of Marketing for GSN and was sold on the company by the desire to promote and help children. That is something just about ever noble person can get behind.

    All of this information is extremely disheartening but I am thankful it has been brought to my attention by a friend of mine after I expressed my frustration at not being paid.

    Thank you,

    Christopher (aka Jeep)
    06-21-2006, 02:06 AM
    MartyKay
    Lector Itero Neurotic

    Is this some kind of deep attack on GSN Publications? I'm a little suspicious of random new members (often with only one post) all making that one post in one thread... (Not you Sarah, you do have a history here)
    __________________
    06-21-2006, 08:37 AM
    drjeep
    Esteemed New Member

    Actually I just came across this information. I'm not looking to attack anyone. I'm looking to be compensated for work that I have done for this company.

    As such, I am thankful for the information I am finding out about the company. If anyone has any other information or documentation about this company, please let me know. I live in Georgia so the Fulton County Court thing is something that doesn't bother me as much.

    This isn't a conspiracy or an attack on my part. I simply am looking to be paid. I took this position in good faith and as per my offer letter I am to be paid the salary I am due. I even filled out and sent in my W4 for this position. I am a single parent who is now about to lose their home because of this so hopefully you can understand my frustration.

    I am going to stop now because this is becoming a legal matter that I am taking up with Government Officials, the Authorities, and possibly the Media.

    Thank you very much for your concern and comment on this. If people were saying these things and I didn't know who they were I might be inclined to think in a similar manner.

    Peace,

    Christopher

    Hiring someone and not paying them for said work is not only a crime, but also one of the 7 cardinal sins (greed). The people who are doing this will be judged in the afterlife and will be condemned to hell for their sins. Oh, and they also operate out of a church and use church equipment for their company. I really need to stop now. I'm getting emotional about this subject.

    Wikipedia has this to say on the subject.
    Greed/Avarice (Latin, avaritia)

    Greed (treachery, covetousness)
    A strong desire to gain, especially in money or power. Disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or treason, especially for personal gain or when compensated. scavenging and hoarding of materials or objects. Theft and robbery, especially by violence, trickery, or, worst of all, manipulation of authority. Simony is the evolution of avarice because it fills you with the urge to make money by selling things within the confines of the church. This sin is abhorred by the Catholic Church and is seen as a sin of malice; Dante included this sin in the first poem of the Divine Comedy (the Inferno). Simony can be viewed as betrayal. Thomas Aquinas on greed: "it is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things." Greed is often seen as the most childish of the 3 exaggerated adulthood sins, because it often focuses on short-term gains. An extreme form of gluttony. Greed is represented by the frog and the color yellow. [citation needed] The punishment in hell for greed is being submerged in the finest boiling oils. It can also mean to endour or to induce some topics.
    06-21-2006, 12:57 PM
    Sassenach
    Inexplicability Assessment

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drjeep

    This isn't a conspiracy or an attack on my part. I simply am looking to be paid. I took this position in good faith and as per my offer letter I am to be paid the salary I am due. I even filled out and sent in my W4 for this position. I am a single parent who is now about to lose their home because of this so hopefully you can understand my frustration.
    You're going to lose your house because of being scammed by one company? How much do they owe you?
    __________________
    06-22-2006, 12:30 AM
    drjeep
    Esteemed New Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sassenach
    You're going to lose your house because of being scammed by one company? How much do they owe you?
    I got laid off from my previous employer in Oct 2005 after working for them for 5 years. It was an unfortunate break as my job with them had been disolved. I had been looking for work constantly until I was hired by GSN with a full time offer letter listing my responsibilities, salary, when my pay days were to be, benefits, etc. I filled out a federal W4 and GA State Tax information and sent it into them. My start date was the 15th of May 2006. I'm a single parent and things have been very very tight. I've been working sometimes over 60 hours a week for this company and every time I ask about my paycheck they come up with an excuse as to why I'm not being paid (they are looking for a new building, they are out making sales calls, they are going out of town and will be out of touch for afew days, etc).

    I could have been using this time to continue my job search instead of putting all my efforts into working for a company I believed in and have been performing the duties assigned in my offer letter in good faith. I simply want paid what I am due in line with my offer letter and moving forward any legal and other fees associated with getting said compensation.

    I dare anyone to go 9 months unemployed with no income, no other job offers, no hope in site, and spend their entire nest egg to support themselves and their family and then work for over a month for a company expecting compensation for your efforts in line with your offer letter only to be ignored and given nothing. I was behind on my bills before I started working for them, now, working as much as I have to make this company successful and increase their distribution base, I have $23 to my name and the company still has not paid me. To date they owe me just under $5000 and since I have not resigned and I have not been terminated and I am a salaried employee not contract or 1099, that amount grows daily.

    I am not a contract writer as most people here are. I was hired full time as the Director of Marketing for this company. My experience is mostly 16 Years in Computers and Electronics, 10 Years in Management, and 5 Years in Promotions and Marketing.

    I have already reported them to the Georgia Department of Labor. Next is the Chamber of Commerce, the EEOC, and the BBB. I'm seeking legal council and possibly going to the media.

    They aren't simply cheating me by working me as they have and not paying me, they are cheating my children and they are committing one of the seven cardinal sins and condemning themselves to eternal damnation.

    I am entitled to my salary as is everyone else who is asked to perform a job for an agreed upon wage.

    I do not see where there is attack or conspiracy involved. I will take any steps necessary to see crimes and sins against me, my children, and as I am discovering others is brought to justice in one form or another.

    It makes me wonder exactly how many people out there they have done this to. They claim to be a start up company, but they were formed in 1984. I think they should have something "started" in 22 years. I looked into other companies associated with this one and they were all forced to disolve by the State of Georgia. This is the only one that seems to have escaped the law so far. I also found out that they use the initials GSN so they can make up a new name when they get into trouble. I think before this they were called something like Global Schools Network or something like that and I'm sure I'll find more as I make more inquiries and find government documentation.

    Can you tell I'm more than a little upset. If things were not so desperate for me I may not be this proactive in my quest, however, I've been out of work a long time and I've spent the past 6 weeks busting my *** for this company and making them new contacts and turning in weekly reports of my progress, setting up fundraising programs, etc.

    Yes, I'm more than a little upset over this.

    Like I said though, this is not a conspiracy or an attack. I simply want paid. If they paid me and terminated me tomorrow, I would be okay with that and I would retract what I am doing. As I have not been paid, they have left me no choice but to take my current course of action and report them to the proper authorities.

    Peace,

    Christopher
    06-22-2006, 10:30 AM
    Sassenach
    Inexplicability Assessment

    Christopher:

    See if you can get a lawyer to help you. Don't waste time with Chambers of Commerce or BBB's--they have no authority.

    Are you still working for htme?

    One other idea: save the comments about sin and damnation for church and focus on their contractual obligations to you.

    Good luck.
    __________________
    06-22-2006, 11:07 AM
    drjeep
    Esteemed New Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sassenach
    Christopher:

    See if you can get a lawyer to help you. Don't waste time with Chambers of Commerce or BBB's--they have no authority.

    Are you still working for htme?

    One other idea: save the comments about sin and damnation for church and focus on their contractual obligations to you.

    Good luck.
    I have reported them to the Chambers of Commerce and the BBB.

    I have not resigned and have not been terminated. They are telling me if I resign then they aren't responsible for paying me.

    I'm looking for a lawyer.

    I know about the church comments, that is more me venting than anything. I'm really angry about all of this.

    I appreciate your concern and comments. You're awesome, thanks.

    Christopher
    06-23-2006, 07:41 AM
    Maryn
    Bru-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-uce!

    Christopher, don't forget that attorneys who represent you in a civil matter (as opposed to criminal) take their pay from the judgment paid by the defendant who loses. Don't allow your present financial circumstances stop you from hiring the best lawyer you can find, okay?

    Maryn, hoping for a good outcome
    __________________
    "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?" --Louis Jordan
    06-23-2006, 10:46 AM
    Kasey Mackenzie
    Blonde & Bookxum

    I was about to refer you to the federal Department of Labor's website (http://www.dol.gov/) when I noticed that you have already filed a complaint with your state Department of Labor. Hopefully they will be able to assist you in recovering the wages you are due. Good luck!
    __________________
    ICAO
    ---------

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    II 2016: 2017:

  7. #7
    Devon
    Guest

    Another Victim for GSN

    My fiance was hired by GSN Publications out of Atlanta, GA in July 2006 as a Strategic Marketing Manager for the Nu South beverage line. She worked from home, writing fashion show articles, calling suppliers/vendors, recruiting, and planning future marketing strategies for the Nu South beverage. Forace Watts, who now claims to be the president of GSN gave the same brochures and information about helping underpriviledged children and students. She also filled out he W-4 forms and signed an official offer letter stating her salary and pay dates.

    However, when it came time to deliver the paycheck, Forace Watts made different excuses from the printers not working properly to him being in the hospital. We gave him the benefit of doubt for the first 3 weeks and started to worry after the 4th week. Forace Watts started ingnoring our e-mails and phone calls. Finally, we were able to speak to him 2 weeks ago and he said he would process the paycheck by 9/8/06. At this point we wrote a letter and mailed one to his PO BOX address explaining the back-pay owed to her. Today is the 8th and we can not get in touch with Watts.

    I have contacted the Federal and GA Dept. of Labor and will be filing the official complaint next week. My finace put in a lot of hard work and received nothing but false promises and frustrations.

    I came across this blog when I googled "Forace Watts" and realized we're also victim's of this scam. We're willing to join with anyone to file the legal complaints.
    Last edited by Devon; 09-08-2006 at 11:58 PM.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Tsu Dho Nimh's Avatar
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    Have they morphed into Gridiron Sports Magazine?
    http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=6292& has a complaint against Gridiron Sports Magazine / GSN Publications / Bernard King for nonpayment. Similar MO ... high pay per word, startup, never got printed.

    Does this guy just like the sadistic pleasure of keeping people begging? Or has anyone found their articles online under another name?

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsu Dho Nimh
    Have they morphed into Gridiron Sports Magazine?
    http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=6292& has a complaint against Gridiron Sports Magazine / GSN Publications / Bernard King for nonpayment. Similar MO ... high pay per word, startup, never got printed.

    Does this guy just like the sadistic pleasure of keeping people begging? Or has anyone found their articles online under another name?
    i bet that's what happens. they steal them and sell them under new names.

  10. #10
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    There isn't enough cash in stealing and reselling articles.

    I bet it's money laundering or investment fraud.

  11. #11
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Requiescat In Pace Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    There isn't enough cash in stealing and reselling articles.

    I bet it's money laundering or investment fraud.
    I concur, maybe the Justice Department and the Rico Act would provide the impetus for an investigation?

    Regards,
    Scott
    [B]Okay, damnit, I blog [URL]http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/[/URL][/B]
    [B]Sword of the Dajjal[/B] e-book, [SIZE=2]Published by BooksForABuck.com May, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-602-052-2 [URL]http://www.booksforabuck.com/sfpages/sf_07/sword_dajjal.html[/URL][/SIZE]
    Out in print early 2008 from Blu Phi'er[URL="http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook47261.htm?cached"][/URL]
    [B]Jars of Doom[/B] out mid 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    [URL]http://www.bluphier.com/[/URL]

  12. #12
    Devon
    Guest
    Thanks for the suggestions. We will seek as many routes of justice as possible. Once again, if anyone wants to team up against GSN Publications and Forace Watts; please let me know.

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