Sunday, July 13, 2008

Getting paid for fiction

I just received my copy of SouthWord, in which I have two short short stories (alongside wonderful fellow writers including Vanessa Gebbie, Chelsey Flood and Joel Willans), and together with it was a cheque for 61 pounds (80 euros). This, for two flash stories. Seems like a lot.

But why not? This is my work now, my full time job, why should I accept payment? It's a difficult concept for me, but one I have to get my head around otherwise this makes a mockery of my vocation. Payment for something I love doing...perhaps better viewed as payment for the time spent. Anyhow, nice to get during my Birthday Week, it's not disappearing into the overdraft!


Vanessa Gebbie said...

Lovely, isnt it! And doesnt Southword look superb?? I met fellow contributor Kevin Barry this last week - a fantastic writer... check him out...

Nik's Blog said...

Birthday week? What's this? That must mean you're ever so close to mine.

And yet another mag I need to check out. Coming back to short stories, in a different genre than I'd been used to writing, after writing and promoting something longer (and for children) I can see there's still PLENTY I need to learn. Which is always exciting.

Happy birthday fowhenever it is!


Deborah Rey said...

I know the feeling, Tania. The first time I got paid for having my work published in a magazine, I felt almost guilty. You said it: getting paid for something you love doing.
Better get used to it, though, chavera!

Tania Hershman said...

V - Southword looks wonderful, I love your story, which I have read before, I believe. It's a great magazine - Nik, you should definitely check it out!'s my birthday on Thurs, 17th. When's yours?
Deborah, how lovely of you to stop by! I will definitely try and get used to fiction-for-money, sounds sleazy somehow :) Toda raba. x

Sarah Hilary said...

Happy Birthday, Tania, although I suspect I'm late. xx

Nik's Blog said...

I will check it out. Defo. Happy birthday for Thursday; mine's not till the 26th.

N x

Women Rule Writer said...

Hi T,
It's good to be paid, so very important.
I had a blazer of a row with someone over artists getting paid, recently.
This person (also a full time artist)didn't rate it as important.
How, you may ask?! I'm still puzzling that one. What does one live on then??!!
I pointed out, through gritted teeth, that payment is not a bonus for me, I am paid for my work. I don't get paid to do anything but writing & writing-related activities.
And don't get me started on cheque-chasing. Why must writers be treated like beggars for wanting prompt payment for work already done?? I spend crazy amounts of time trying to get paid for work that is delivered months (in one case a year) before...
Anyhow - get used to being paid. It is no more (and usually amounts to a lot less) than any of us deserve!
WRW x x x
p.s. I do think we should try to get paid for everything, but we should also be discretionary. Sometimes it's better to do something for free, where that is the most appropriate thing in the situation.

Kerry said...

Happy Birthday for Thursday and congrats on the lovely writerly cheque! Now you've got to decide what to buy with the fruits of your efforts...can I recommend shoes, chocolate and books? Yes, I'm living vicariously :)

Anonymous said...

as someone who grew up in an environment where every adult was a writer it seems odd to me not to expect to be paid or to write for any reason other than to make money. My father and all his friends were professionals (I gues you intellectuals would call them hacks)and his advice when I asked him how to become a writer was 'put the seat of the pants on the seat of the chair. That's how you get to be a writer.' These people (hacks to you) got up every day and spiritual frip frap. And a lot of the stuff they wrote is now considered classic. All this brooding and nurturing of the psyche looks to me like self indulgence.

Tania Hershman said...

WRW - you are completely right. We deserve payment, I will stop being so silly.
Kerry - thanks, all great ideas, I am off to shop now!
Anon - any chance of a clue to who you are, especially given your writerly family? Thanks for stopping by, although anonymity is, in my book, rather self indulgent.