Monday, September 18, 2006

A Fun, Creative Contest for Writers - Tell us What You Would Have Said

I look at job postings on jobs boards every single morning before I do anything else. Some of these jobs have actually worked into nice gigs, but it took me a long time to know what I was looking for.
I admit, sometimes I’m pretty cranky at 5:30 a.m., the time I usually start browsing the boards. Most of the time, I can take my frustrations out on scam postings by reporting them to the administrators of the sites.
But what about posters who actually advertise pay – even if it is sometimes as low as $1?
Most of the time, I’m able to just shake my head and note them as an entry for the Hall of Shame. But sometimes, I let my heart override my common sense.
As an example, there was a posting for a writer – on an as needed basis. The poster wanted people to write short articles, about 400 words, for $1 for every 100 words, making that 400-word article worth a grand total of $4.
I’m no math whiz, but even at that early hour, I knew that worked out to a penny a word. A penny a word? I didn’t even start out making that low of pay. The poster also cautioned that if they caught anyone using other’s words, they would know it. They said they’ve had problems with this before.
I wrote the poster and said, “The reason you probably have people copying others work is that you only pay $1 for every 100 words. Are you kidding?”
I received a reply, from a person identified as Kelly Lowe, telling me that no, she wasn’t kidding and that this type of pay is the going rate for this type of work. She then told me how unprofessional I was in this matter and threatened to “remember my name.”
I chuckled and wrote back, “Please do remember my name, and I’ll make sure to pass yours along as well.”
That bothered me all day. I could be more creative than that! I could have written, “Thank you. Please also remember me when your rate increases to $1 per word, the going rate on the dimension on which most writers want to live,” or “Thank you. I love people remembering me.”
That didn’t work for me either. Hit the comment button here or email me and tell me what I should have/could have said in reply. Let’s keep it clean, witty and creative! I’ll have a group of non-participating writers tell me which is the most creative. If your reply wins, I will send you a signed copy of my book, “No Immediate Threat: The story of an American Veteran.” Oh, and you’ll also receive my promise that I’ll remember your name. ☺
You have to give me permission to use your answer and your name on my blog post.
Hurry, this contest will end with the month. Last day to submit entries is September 29. I’ll announce the winner in my October 2 blog post.
Make sure I have your email address, so I know how to notify you.


Blogger Manic Mom said...

You should have said, "Oh honey, you'll have NO problem remembering MY name because you'll see it splashed on the best-seller list while you're still searching for idiots who will accept a penny a word!

You can find my email at my profile at

Thanks! Fun contest!

8:48 PM CDT  
Blogger kckat said...

Here's my reply to Kelly:

"Honey, the only way I would write a 400 word article for $4 is if I could write about what I think of people like you who obviously have no shame when it comes to exploiting writers! Come to think of it, I'd even write that article for free."

10:54 PM CDT  
Blogger larramie said...

Perhaps a bit much yet -- given the circumstances -- why not:

"You'll remember my name, it will be fame!" ;o)

11:12 AM CDT  
Blogger Mary Rupert said...

Sometimes you might write for free for friends, for a cause you believe in, when you're retired, or when your message really needs to get out and you can't think of any other way. But for other instances when people ask you to write for free, you can say:

"Amateurs write for free.
Pros write for pay.
When will you ever learn
That freelancers work this way?"

See my blog, where I practice writing (some day I'll get it right) for all of the above reasons, and then some, at
(P.S. I already have bought a copy of your book!)

9:52 PM CDT  
Blogger Katrina Ramser said...

Maybe ...

"Will that payment come in nickels or dimes?"

Thanks. Lets string them along and give 'um a taste of their own medicine, placate-style. This might stir up an even more interesting reply from her!

12:06 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mine would have been :

"If you're going to remember my name, be sure and spell it properly. That's Mark with a "K" at the end, not a "C". It's so annoying to be remembered by a highly respectable individual like yourself and get your name spelt wrong"

Sometimes sarcasm is the best way to go. It is for me anyway.

7:34 AM CDT  

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