View Full Version : A Really Disheartening Experience

06-09-2013, 07:13 PM
Nobody knows what writers go through day in and day out with this process except for other writers.
Along with my passion for writing I am also a personal trainer and I have a great love of fitness. I've always wanted to combine the two and one of my dreams was to have an article featured in Oxygen Magazine.
This year it seemed like that dream was going to come true. I submitted a pitch; they accepted; I wrote the piece, did the research and the ball was rolling towards a July 2013 publication.
As the date grew closer and closer I got more and more excited. I was finally going to have a contributor byline in Oxygen!
Yesterday I come to find out that RK Publishing had filed for bankruptcy and sub-sequentially closed its doors to all its publications including Oxygen.
Only one month out and now my article will never see the light of day, my dream will go unrealized.
I'm literally heartbroken.
They always say to keep moving forward towards your dream and eventually you'll get there. But I've been kicked in the teeth so many times in this career that I'm starting to wonder.Usually I'm the first to pull myself together and charge back out there but this experience has really left me feeling deflated.
Anyone else have a really bad experience like that they were able to overcome? Could use some encouragement.

06-09-2013, 08:18 PM
I had an acceptance letter for my very first short story--until they got a submission they liked better and decided to publish it instead. So I go to the place where this local magazine featuring my first story is sold, and... it's not in it. They didn't even tell me.

I wrote the editor who'd accepted it and CCed the managing editor, who sent a rambling handwritten four-page excuse which he probably thought was an apology. Two years later I ran into the editor at a social function for writers, and when we were introduced, it was obvious he remembered. He took me aside to explain the managing editor had made the change without telling anyone, and the editor had left the magazine soon after, embarrassed to be associated with a publication which operated with such a lack of professionalism or courtesy.

I still see that editor now and then. Good guy. And the managing editor still runs that magazine. I don't buy it.

Your good article probably needs only tweaks to be right for another good publication. Your mission is to identify what those publications are and see what they're publishing.

Maryn, with a hug before you get started

06-09-2013, 08:41 PM
Twice, actually.

In 1999, my book was accepted by a small press publisher and released--and it went bankrupt 3 months later so virtually no one got a chance to buy my book.

In 2001, I wrote an article for an industry magazine (top of its industry at the time too) and got it accepted. I was very pleased and flattered. And when it came out, the editor had left the first two paragraphs and completely rewritten the rest of the article to fit his own POV and left my name on the byline.

At least you have a marketable piece and a clear name at the end of the day, m'dear. Plenty to pick up and keep going with.

Chris P
06-09-2013, 08:54 PM
What a heartbreaker! I'm so sorry that happened. I went through something similar last winter, with a spring twist that topped it off.

I wrote a story for a western short story contest here at AW. It won second out of 40 stories, and I submitted it to what people said was a good market. I'd submitted a different story to this market before, and got a very pleasant personalized rejection. But they accepted the second story! Then I get the contract, and the "pays up to pro rate" turned out to mean "token payment." I grumbled, but still thinking this was a good market (people later said it wasn't; not a high readership or acceptance standards), I signed the contract.

Then . . . nothing. Four weeks. Six weeks. Then I check out the magazine's website, and Firefox sounds off alarms and warnings about it being an attack site. I emailed the editor. Nothing. Three or four weeks later, another email goes unanswered. Duotrope says "Don't submit here! Website reported compromised!" and "Market may be declared defunct on [date]" Someone sent me a link to the editor's blog, where he said the site had been hacked several weeks before and he didn't have the money to pay someone to fix the problems. The blog (now taken down) said "I don't think the project will be able to continue." He did, however, set up a "Save The [Magazine]!" PayPal account, but he couldn't seem to contact the authors about the statuses of their stories or reply to their emails.

As a formality, I sent an email in December, about six weeks after the hacking, withdrawing the story. No response and I started sending the story out elsewhere. Fast forward to early March: "Hey! The site's back up and we can run your story in two weeks." I replied that I withdrew the story four months earlier and was sending it elsewhere. His response was very polite and encouraging, wishing me well on finding a new home for the story. I thanked him for his reply and said I'd consider the market again should I have a suitable story. That should have been the end of it, right?

Well, if there's another paragraph it obviously wasn't the end of it. Six weeks later in mid April: "Hey! Send me your PayPal address, I'll pay you for the story and we can put it up in two weeks." I replied with a forward of the March email and told him I'd moved on. His response "I know what I said, and that doesn't cancel the contract. Refund the money we paid you, and I'll void the contract. In the meantime, we have a signed contract and a payment you accepted." Um, money? Payment? I checked my PayPal and nope, no money ever came. I asked him to confirm to whom the money was paid, because in fairness if he paid someone he deserves to get that money back. Further, if he asked for my PayPal address two days earlier he obviously had not sent the payment. No reply for two weeks. Finally he replies, all good cheer again saying he was worried if he voided the contract I would sue him for not running the story. I imagine he'd talked to a lawyer and found out with my withdrawal that canceled the contract on my own wishes and I would have no recourse if I tried to sue him. I told him my intent in withdrawing it was that he not publish it, and stated specifically I wouldn't hold the magazine responsible for not publishing it. I got a very short "Thanks, and this concludes our business" email and (let's hope) that's the end of it.

06-09-2013, 11:29 PM
Man, Chris, what a mess. You, too, Deleyan. Sheesh!

Maryn, shaking her head

06-19-2013, 06:30 AM
Guys, I have a follow up and it is actual a happy one.
Turns out the July issue was already finished so it was published afterall AND made it to the stores.
I just got my copy!
They still haven't paid me, and since they went bankrupt I don't ever expect to see that money, but at least I got my byline and that is something I have wanted to see for a very long time!

AW Admin
06-19-2013, 06:51 PM
Cynthia that's great news, but please reduce the size of that image: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258870

If you need help PM me.