Friday, September 01, 2006

"the single most unprofessional "professional" I've ever had the misfortune of working with"

Wherein passing along a warning to freelance writers

Poppy Z. Brite updates her unpleasant experience with Sacred History Magazine. See also: March 3, March 21, and April 1.

In addition to the other bad news of late, I recently received word that even the Authors Guild, arguably the most powerful freelance writers' advocacy group in North America, cannot induce Sacred History to pay me the $4000 they owe for the article they contracted back in December. Not only that, but publisher James Griffith has repeatedly lied to Authors Guild counsel, characterizing the article the magazine assigned me as "a friend of Ms. Brite [making] some sort of agreement with her." That "friend" was his own senior editor, Lisa Derrick, who repeatedly testified to the Authors Guild that there was in fact a contract, one I postponed urgent revisions on Soul Kitchen in order to honor. Griffith now refuses to respond to any further communication from the Authors Guild, and short of hiring a lawyer (which would probably end up costing me more than Sacred History owes me), there's nothing more I can do to recoup the time and effort I spent on researching and writing a piece I was once proud of and excited about publishing, but now feel like a dupe for ever having bothered with.

I'm not generally one to send out flying monkeys, but if you care to tell Mr. Griffith ( ) what you think of a "religious" magazine that cheats freelance writers trying to rebuild their lives after losing their homes, cities, and four months' worth of livelihood, or of a publisher who lies to respected literary organizations in order to save his failing magazine a few bucks, this would be a fine time to do it. And Mr. Griffith, if you should read this yourself: In a business rife with scammers, crooks, miscreants, and ripoff artists, you are the single most unprofessional "professional" I've ever had the misfortune of working with. You have disrespected me, your own senior editor, and the Authors Guild. I will continue warning writers and other freelancers against any project you are associated with in any forum available to me ... but I doubt I'll have to do so very often, because as harsh as the publishing business can be, it does have a way of weeding out liars and thieves like you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A young magazine like SH with zero budget would not be expected to pony up $ 4,000 for ANY author, especially given that they have thousands upon thousands of reputable authors willing to contribute pieces free of charge. I know one of the editors of the magazine, but I don’t personally know Griffith. It seems to me that you have a problem more with his business dealings with you than with the magazine as a whole. Don't forget, when you attack the entire magazine, you attack every contributor, advertiser, and indeed the entire subscription base of the publication. I really doubt your beef is with everyone. If you truly wished to keep this entire thing "professional" as you say, why not take Griffith to small claims court? You would not need an attorney, and you would be able to make your case before a presumably unbiased judge. The case is not so complex as to require a lawyer, especially if it is so cut-and-dry as you claim. That you we can recover your loses and save yourself the public display of immaturity of wildly venting. I don't mean this to sound so harsh as it may be taken, but merely as some sober advice.

11/13/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

Hello, Anonymous. You have zero reading comprehension skills. Try again or go away.

11/13/2006 05:33:00 PM  

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