Who Pays Writers (and Photographers)?

In an era when so many writers are being asked to work for free, frank talk about writing rates is desperately needed. Maybe that’s why it’s such a thrill to see freelance fees being discussed openly online lately.

Who Pays Writers started up late last year and has been going strong ever since, posting anonymous user-submitted reports on what publications pay their writers and how long it takes for cheques to arrive. The Tumblr aims to bring money talk into the open and, according to founder Manjula Martin, is intended to be “informational, not judgmental.”

Last month, freelance photographers got in on the action, too, with their own Tumblr, Who Pays Photographers. As with Who Pays Writers, the Tumblr posts anonymous reports of fees paid, copyrights claimed and speed of payment. There seems to be a fair bit of commentary and discussion around the subject, as well, much of which is pretty grumpy.

While some might view this kind of anonymous posting as simply whining about the increasingly low rates that freelancers face, it seems to me that open discussion of rates is a positive move. It’s clear from the posts on both Tumblrs that rates vary depending on the contributor. If nothing else, these sites demonstrate to freelancers that rates aren’t set in stone — that fees, in many cases, are negotiable and it just might be worth asking for more.

Now who wants to start a Canadian version?


Posted on April 18, 2013 at 9:15 am by editor · · Tagged with: , , ,

Leave a Reply