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[Magazine] The Smart Set (formerly Dragonfire)

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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ShapeSphere

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Yes, I am also being messed about by Dragonfire, and was the one who asked Angela Hoy of WritersWeekly.com to help. Which she has to an incredible extent and I'm extremely grateful.

Here's the link to the warning:
http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?p=43817

My article about the Beijing 2008 Olympics was published on 25th October 2005 and I still haven't been paid yet.

Maybe I'll get paid before the 2008 Olympics begin...
 
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ShapeSphere

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Well, I have just got back from my holidays in Japan (had a great time - thanks for asking) and checked my bank statements...

... still haven't been paid by Dragonfire as of today - 27th March 2006.

After many emails, rhetoric and timewasting; Dragonfire finally acknowledged receipt of my invoices on 21st February 2006. Payment was meant to be from 21-30 days of that date.

It's worth reading the thread on WritersWeekly, so people can be aware of potential problems in writing for this publication. You can make your own minds up.

I was also approached by a writer for the student newspaper at Drexel University. It has ties to Dragonfire. Her article, which offers an interesting interpretation of events, states:

"Another Dragonfire freelance writer, who wishes to remain anonymous, complained similarly."

That's me, but I never said I wanted to be anonymous. My emails to her on 1st March 2006 (and again on 4th March when she asked again) were very clear:

"I'll be very happy to answer some questions *once* I have been paid."

I'll also be happy to provide email proof for any interested parties of our conversation.

Finally, I want to end this post with something I said to Dragonfire. It's worth saying again:

I don't enjoy making a complaint and actively go out my way to avoid confrontation. Any complaint by a writer effectively ends a business relationship. I'm in this profession to make a living and not to make trouble.
 

ShapeSphere

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Still waiting for payment. Here's the latest in the saga:

(Email addresses and telephone numbers edited out for Dr. Greenberg).


Dear Dr. Greenberg,

Thank you for the reply.

Your answer is not clear enough. I need to know a specific date as to when the money arrives. Also, why has this problem not affected your writers mentioned in the article from The Triangle? Writers such as Andrew Greenberg and Jennifer Lewandowski all got paid on time and had a marvellous experience in the process.

As you can imagine, I don't make special calls to my bank to check on whether my $250 has arrived. I only do this on certain occasions, and that's when checking matters with a guaranteed outcome.

I appreciate that this is just a tempest in a teapot to your publication, but to people with principles, it's a very important matter. Therefore I do seek information that is more concrete and helpful.

Kind regards,

Antony Peyton.


Writer & Editor
Tianjin, P.R. China
www.antonypeyton.com






"Greenberg,Mark" <> wrote:
Dear Mr. Peyton,


I believe a budget transfer, to fund payments for Dragonfire, did not go through. Either paperwork was misplaced or not received by an office here. The situation has been remedied, and payments should progress without further delays. Again, we're sorry for this delay. If you do not receive payment shortly, please let me know.

Mark Greenberg


________________________________
Dr. Mark L. Greenberg
Dean, Pennoni Honors College
Honors Center Drexel University
Philadelphia,





From: Antony Peyton Sent: Sun 4/2/2006 11:23 PM
To: Greenberg,Mark
Cc: Amy L. Webb Dragonfire Editor In Chief; Aditi Dubey
Subject: RE: Re: Fwd: URGENT!!! Payment - STILL NOT PAID


Dear Dr. Greenberg,

Thank you for the reply. Could you please let me know what's happening and why my payment is delayed.

Best regards,

Antony Peyton.


Writer & Editor
Tianjin, P.R. China
www.antonypeyton.com





"Greenberg,Mark" <> wrote:
Dear Mr. Peyton,


I've asked Amy Webb to loook into this immediately and can assure you that payment either has been made or will be forthcoming shortly. Thanks for your patience.

Mark Greenberg


________________________________
Dr. Mark L. Greenberg
Dean, Pennoni Honors College
Honors Center
Drexel University
Philadelphia





From: Antony PeytonSent: Mon 3/27/2006 3:27 AM
To: Amy L. Webb Dragonfire Editor In Chief
Cc: Greenberg,Mark
Subject: Fwd: Re: Fwd: URGENT!!! Payment - STILL NOT PAID


Dear Amy Webb,

Just came back from holiday and checked my bank statements today. I have still *not* been paid.

What seems to be the problem this time?

Thank you.

Antony Peyton.
 
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CaoPaux

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Gaah! Keep on 'em, Anthony. :e2fight:
 

JoelLordOfSquirrels

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Yeah, eventually they should realize that the strategy of 'ignoring the problem until it goes away' won't work, and with any luck if they finally decide to fess up and pay up, they'll be a mite more hesitant on trying a similar tactic in the future. ^^

Or, at least it would happen if this were a perfect world. Definitely in awe of WritersWeekly, though, Angela certainly seems to have the ethical strength and determination that Dragonfire is coming up short on. I'm almost tempted to write up some sorta story myself and send it in for consideration just to see what they'd do. Then I'd document full evidence. ;)
 

ShapeSphere

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Thanks CaoPaux and Joel for the support. (I love that little smiley CaoPaux). On 3rd April, 2006, Dr. Greenberg and Amy Webb both responded:

(Email addresses, telephone numbers and private bank details edited out).


Subject: RE: Re: Fwd: URGENT!!! Payment - STILL NOT PAID

Date:Mon, 3 Apr 2006 10:11:59 -0400

From: "Greenberg,Mark" <>

To: "Antony Peyton" <>

CC: "Webb,Amy"




Mr Peyton,



We take our obligations very seriously. Drexel is a large institution, and check requests go through many offices. Sometimes there are delays over which we have no control. I have asked that your money be wired today or tomorrow. Having asked does not necessarily make it happen that instant, though that is my intention. You should have your money at the latest by the end of this week.



Mark Greenberg


Dean, Pennoni Honors College
Honors Center - 5016 MacAlister Hall


Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA 19104




Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 13:10:52 -0400

Subject: Re: URGENT!!! Payment - STILL NOT PAID

From: "Amy Webb" <>

To: "Antony Peyton" <>, "Greenberg,Mark" <>



Antony,
Our records indicate that a wire transfer was made on March 27th to your account. The transfer went through successfully to the Bank of xxx,Routing Number xxx, Account Number xxx. Please check again with your bank, as on our end the amount has cleared.
Thank you.Amy

Dr. Greenberg's email was first and says the money will be wired soon. Amy Webb's email was later and says the money should already be in my account. I will check when it's convenient to me.

Dr. Greenberg states: We take our obligations very seriously.

So, that's why I've been waiting for payment since October 2005.
 
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ShapeSphere

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Checked at my bank today. Payment received on 28th March. It's US$240, as $10 is deducted for wiring fees.

I would never have got the money if Angela Hoy at WritersWeekly hadn't helped. It's that simple and I can't thank her enough. Although, I did try by sending an email.

That was the hardest $240 I've ever earned in my life.
 

Simran

If I'm not mistaken, Dragon fire was blacklisted by Angela Hoy's Writer's Weekly.

Apparently, writers were not paid and Dragonfire appeared in the Whispers and Warnings section.


Here is the link to the whole mess.

http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=5904

http://www.thetriangle.org/media/paper689/news/2006/03/03/News/Writers.Label.Dragonfire.As.Unprofessional-1654579.shtml?norewrite&sourcedomain=www.thetriangle.org

Another writer is complaining about late payment from Dragonfire at this link:
http://www.mediabistro.com/bbs/cache/t24502_1.asp



So please be cautious.
 
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CaoPaux

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Yay, Antony!

:PartySmil



Judi_S, Antony is one of the principals on the WW thread.
 
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ShapeSphere

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James D. Macdonald said:
I expect it's the bank, not the publisher, that made the charge.



James is right. (Dragonfire aren't at fault on this particular point.)



Thanks for all the support, and CaoPaux is right; I was the one who made the first complaint about Dragonfire to Angela at WritersWeekly.



There was no way I could know that Dragonfire would be a bunch of deadbeats, as when I queried them they were on Issue 7 (if I recall correctly) and I'd heard no previous complaints.



But, it was Lee Ann who started this thread on Absolute Write and it was she who first wrote to Dr. Greenberg, thereby going above the editor's head. Many thanks to Lee Ann for offering a new route and telling Angela and myself.



I don't feel elated about getting my money or bitter towards Dragonfire. I feel relieved, but also feel sadness that Dragonfire just don't understand how the writing world works.



Professional writers want to keep in contact with editors and build up a rapport. Getting bogged down in email skirmishes over paltry sums is not conducive to anybody. There's no way I will ever work with Dragonfire again, and there's no way they would want me. That's not a successful outcome.



We want to work. We want to write. It's that simple!
 
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