I love good writing, especially when it focuses on New England's food, art and culture. So when I first heard about Take Magazine, and flipped through its glossy, well-designed pages, I fell hard and fast. The publication is beautifully done. The photography is breathtaking and the writing is superb.
But they don't deserve my patronage.
Take Magazine: The Name Says it All
Take Magazine has failed to pay several of their writers. Meanwhile, they are sponsoring arts events in Boston and New Haven and raised over $20,000 through Kickstarter. And they've obviously attracted some wonderful writers. They were recognized as one of 2015's best new magazines by the Library Journal and named one of the top 30 magazine launches of the year by Media Industry News.
And yet, they haven't paid their writers.
Although I've never written for Take Magazine, I have written for other regional magazines. Typically, the magazines write the contract and determine the amount and terms of payment. With every contract I signed, I agreed to write the piece, and make any requested changes, months before it was published. I further agreed receive payment 30 days after the article was published.
Why would anyone agree to such terms?
Because if you want to make a living as a freelance writer, you agree to the terms the magazine proposes or another writer will gladly write the article and you will go back to dreaming up creative new recipes for ramen noodles.
The terms outlined above are the same terms writers agree to when they entered into a contract with Take Magazine. But even though the magazine dictated the terms of the entire relationship, they have failed to abide by those terms.
That is unacceptable.
Over the years, I have written more than a few demand letters. Each one was written after repeated requests for payment. Only after I wrote the demand letter, informing the magazine that I would pursue legal remedies if they didn't pay me what they owed, did I finally receive payment. And by then, the relationship was, as far as I was concerned, over.
But many freelance writers don't feel that they have the luxury of scratching specific publications off their list. They earn their living writing for publication, and the number of paying publications out there is diminishing. So, they live in hope that they will eventually get paid, and continue to write while eating ramen noodles.
Two of Take Magazine's writers have made their claims public, applying social media pressure in hopes that the magazine will make good on their promise. Austin Dale is owed over $2,000 for work completed months ago. Anulfo Baez has still not been paid for an article that was published in the February/March 2016 edition of the magazine.
It's Time to #StandwithWriters
It is on behalf of the writers, the smart and talented people who spend hours researching and writing a story designed to educate, inspire, entertain and inform us, the reader, that I ask you to join me in boycotting Take Magazine and any magazine that fails to pay it's writers in accordance with their contract.
Join me in calling on Take Magazine to honor their agreements by paying their writers for the work they have done. If you subscribe to the magazine, cancel your subscription until they right this wrong. And remind them of our call-to-action by using the hashtag #StandwithWriters across their social media accounts. The writers may not have much of a voice in this fight, but as readers and subscribers, we certainly do. And if Take Magazine does honor their commitment to the writers who make the magazine possible, we all win. Take Magazine thrives, the writers can keep doing the work they do so well, and we all get to enjoy a wonderful publication.
I #StandwithWriters. Do you?
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Newburyport, MA 01950