I saw the ad as an opportunity to get in on the ground floor
It had all the signs of taking off. A new "#News and entertainment" site placed a craigslist advertisement for writers. A big break! I was about to be discovered, or so I thought. I submitted my email application to the editor at Newsaratti and the required clips. I was applying for a sports writer position - my dream job. I had written about sports a little before but this time, I was going to go for it, follow the dream.
I included with my application an original 500-word piece on my favorite team, the New York Giants. I clicked send and sat staring at the screen. It was beyond my control now.
Days went by and nothing. I was convinced that, once again, I hadn't made the cut. But four days later it came: "You've been selected." I was a sports writer. I was thrilled.
And it didn't stop there, within days there was a call for a series. One story every month on something we were "passionate" about. I pitched. I got in.
The work is good enough, but I was going to get paid. Five cents a word for most pieces, but up to thirty was available. The big times. Okay, not the big times but the better than penny-per-word times.
That was in December. I haven't gotten a single dollar in my paypal account yet.
I wrote. I submitted. I wrote. I submitted. Nearly one hundred articles, all approved.
It began with a story about website coding failure and staff issues.
Understandable delays. Then we'd be paid by the following Friday. Not unreasonable. Then we needed to submit an invoice. Okay, I submitted. Another week went by. No money. No answer. Then we were told to submit an invoice by PayPal. Okay, I submitted. and another week went by. Every payday we received excuses instead of payment.
We're supposed to be paid by Monday. Tomorrow. I'm not expecting it, but I am hanging around to hear the newest excuse.
It's easy to get misled. It can happen to all of us. But maybe the next time I will ask a few more questions and get it in writing before I give away all my work.
And If I get any money you will be the first to know.