I'm hoping someone with a little more experience as a writer (and maybe some legal know-how) can explain my options to me.

About two and a half years ago, I came across a large, professional magazine that accepted submissions without query. They paid fairly well ($600 - $750 AUD), so I wrote something I thought was in their wheelhouse and sent it off with a quick email.

Their site is quite clear about freelancer payment rates, and says that freelancers will be contacted to sign over copyright to the article in question. No one ever contacted me, so I assumed the story was rejected and the editor was too busy to get back to me. Not my happiest hour, but all absolutely fine.

Flash forward two and a half years - and I find out that they published it in February 2018 (a year and a half after my original submission).

So, they published my work without notifying me, getting copyright permission (do they need this?), and - crucially, from my perspective - without paying me!

I am not listing the publication here (yet), because I'm still willing to believe this is a simple error. I have emailed the editor and the publisher over the weekend, and am still waiting to hear back. I have said if they're simply willing to pay me what their guidelines suggest, I will be happy to sign over copyright and draw a line under it.

As the hours tick by, however, I am beginning to question whether or not I am being ignored...

Can anyone tell me what the hell I can do next? It galls me that this article has been published without my knowledge and I've been stiffed out of hundreds of dollars!

Sorry for the rant, looking forward to any help you may be able to offer. Oh, an additional fact: I am in the UK and this is an Australian magazine - not sure on the legal situation there.