March 02, 2005

Ask The Expert For March 2nd

~Accept More Work From Pub That Owes Me Money?~

Hi Angela,

I searched your site for a response to this but I guess it's a new one. I know the offer for more work is a red herring, but the firm in question already owes me past-due funds for previously submitted work. How should I respond to an email that asks for more articles, but only promises payment "soon" on past-due invoices?


I could be wrong, but this type of situation (while not entirely uncommon!) seems awfully fishy to me. According to an email you forwarded to me, their excuse for paying their bills late is because they're "moving." Even if they're moving, that shouldn't hold up payments. They should have paid their bills before they unplugged the printer. And, honestly, most companies move quickly because they can't afford to be unproductive for an extended period of time. This entire scenario just doesn't make any sense. I'm not buying it.

I suggest politely tell them that you can't accept any new assignments until the past-due invoice is paid. To me, it looks like they're 1. definitely giving you the run-around on payment and 2. trying to silence you by promising more work.


~Can I Ask For A Critique After Rejection?~

Would it be appropriate for me to contact an editor after a rejection and ask for his or her opinion on how I might improve my work - and my chances for future publication?

Really bad editors don't respond to queries at all. While good editors tell writers why their work was rejected, they usually don't have time to critique the rejected query or article or offer advice on how it can be improved. Editors are very busy and asking them to do this is not appropriate and may offend the editor. However, it is appropriate to ask the editor if they'd consider future ideas from you.


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