Here’s something I’ve been keeping a lid on for some months, but am super excited to finally share! I sold a story to The Walrus! For my international readers, The Walrus is a Canadian magazine that could easily be likened to The New Yorker – a highly-curated arts and culture magazine with some amazing critical thinkers writing for and creating the magazine. It’s a national magazine, available across the country.
My essay, published today, is about the time last year when I found a roll of film on the curb and set out to find the lost photographer. It’s a really quirky story that involves a lot of six-degrees-of-kevin-bacon but also about expectations v reality. I may or may not mention Amélie once or twice within this piece. Check it out and share it with your friends!
So here’s something funny about this process of being a freelance writer that is related to this story – last year, another magazine (which shall remain nameless) bought this story. They sat on this story for 7 months. They edited it so it stripped out all the colour, flare, style, and tone of my writing. They were absolutely unreachable at times, and it was a super frustrating experience working with them. Finally, a publication date for this past January was set. They paid me in full in anticipation of the publication date. Then, ON THE DAY it was set to be published, I received an email from the editor, saying that they were killing the story because it was “too local” and not something that would appeal to people across the country.
What the shizz?
Not once in the 7 months that they had the story was the concern that it was “too local” ever raised. Also, that’s a bullshit criticism, you guys have read the story, do you find this story unappealing to people outside of Toronto? Rhetorical question.
And worst of all, before that publication had bought the story, I had pitched it elsewhere, & some places only got back to me after said-publication bought it. So I had turned down other publications for them! For those of you outside of the publishing world, you should know this kind of behaviour and practice is all SUPER UNPROFESSIONAL. I’ve had stories killed before, but not on the DAY it was to be published, for such a lame excuse, after paying me in full. Most writers I know have had similar experiences with them, and warned me about them. So in my reply, I told them exactly what I thought. May the bridges I burn light the way.
I subsequently erased ALL the edits they did on my piece, and went back to my true voice that they tried to strip from the piece. Sometimes editors try to “trim the fat” of a story, but any chef will tell you that the fat has all the flavour. Good writing requires a style and a voice, and I wasn’t going to let them convince me my voice needed to be trimmed.
Fast forward to this past autumn, The Walrus bought the story (and frankly, The Walrus is a much better publication, with a helluva lot more respect), and the process of fashioning and editing the piece with them has been light years ahead and beyond what said-shizz-publication was like. And I’m super proud of this end result. Because above all, I found a publication that nurtured and encouraged my voice and style.
There are a lot of shady things publications try to do to freelance writers . . . and most of the time, they get away with it. Being freelance means you don’t get the support of HR and you’re in this legal gray area most of the time. So I’ve learned that you have to be your best advocate in this business . . . because the world doesn’t owe you any favours. Hustle and work hard, and it will all sort itself out in the end.
And maybe, if you’re really lucky, you’ll get paid twice for the same story 😉
(Yes that was tacky of me, but I’m not deleting it.)
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published essays, stories, and more!
December 26, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, freelance life, freelance writer, freelance writing, freelancer, op-ed, publishing, Short story, the walrus, Toronto, walrus magazine, writer, writer's life, writer's problems, writing, writing life | 1 Comment
My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shaaaades. Another publication, my little munchkins! I wrote about the benefits, the how-to’s, and the expectations/limitations of house-sitting for Verge Magazine, a wonderful, glossy travel mag. I’ve done lotsa travel writing before but not for the past few years, even though those years were consumed with crossing borders! So it was nice to flex the travel writing chops again. Above is a little snippet of the article to pique your interest. If you want to read the whole thing, the latest issue is behind a paywall, you have to buy a digital subscription… or you could ask for my password to my digital subscription … y’know, whatevs. (hint hint wink wink)
I just sold another story a couple days ago to another literary magazine, AND I’m currently working on a hard-hitting essay for my old friends at AufBau (wrote for them last year) which will be translated into Swiss German (Ausgezeichnet!), so I’m super excited for the future!
Speaking of my Verge travel piece on house-sitting, this blog will be quiet for the next little while because I’m going to be house-sitting in Miami for a while, and then directly after that I’m flying down to Central America so I can backpack across Mexico, Guatemala and Belize! All year Central America has been calling out to me. I’ve done South America and I’ve done the Caribbean but never Central America so I really wanted to make it happen. When I was offered the house-sit in Miami, I thought to myself, “Hmm, flights from Miami to Mexico are much cheaper than Toronto to Mexico…” And all of this really isn’t costing me much! Since I’m house-sitting, the Miami accommodation is free. And the home-owner is most graciously and kindly covering my groceries and metropass whilst I’m there. But most of all, my flight was FREE because I had enough Air Miles!!! And I have lotsa remaindered American dollars lying about from my month in NYC earlier this year, so any excess costs are covered! So all I’m actually paying for is the cheap $125 flight from Miami to Mexico, and whatever minuscule pesos I blow on my travels!
I literally am the Queen of Frugal Travelling! Adventures need not break the bank!
After that, preliminary plans are in the works for me to reunite in Amsterdam with dis guy:
Don’t forget to check out the Official Christine Estima dot commmm for all of my published works, appearances, performances, and more!
October 24, 2015 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, GIFs, portfolio, travel, writing | Tags: adventure, adventure travel, Air Miles, author, backpacking, Belize, caribbean, central america, cheap travel, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, editorial, essay, frugal, Guatemala, House-sitting, housesitting, magazines, Mexico, Miami, op-ed, publications, solo women travellers, south america, Toronto, travel, travel guidebooks, travel how-to, travel tips, travel writing, traveller, Verge Magazine, writer, writing, writing career, writing life | 3 Comments