As you may recall, last week I was dealing with a bit of a writing quandary. You can read the full details here, but basically I was debating on whether or not to take an unpaid writing job for a longish article that would require a fair amount of research. Should I accept to keep the editor happy and add something to my CV, or should I decline saying it’s too much work for too little money?
Note: If you’re a garden writer and are just looking for the Call for Writers, please feel free to scroll down to the end of this post.
I gave myself plenty of time to think about the quandary. For the most part I was on the Decline-Her-Request side of the fence and my brain had already concocted a draft of the email I would send. But before I sat down to write that email I thought I’d do a quick bit of research to see how hard the article (about inmates tending native plant gardens in prison) would be to write.
Turns out that even though vegetable gardens seem to be a popular inmate project, native plant gardens haven’t really caught on in prisons except for a handful in California. This got me thinking about a compromise.
Instead of sending my mentally drafted email, I offered to do the article but said it would have to be much shorter – 800 words instead of the 1600 she wanted – and told her I would not be able to provide photos. I also pointed out that there weren’t many native plant prison gardens specifically, but that I could write generally about the benefits of prison gardens. I hit Send and waited.
After a bit she replied and said it might be best to put the whole prison idea on the back burner. Because the North American Native Plant Society’s focus is on native plants (obviously), having a generic article about prison gardens just wouldn’t fit. So, not only did I save some writer face by not completely rejecting her idea, but I also managed to get out of doing the article anyway. Two wins for me!
Now that my brain was already going on this topic, I asked her if there wasn’t someone in the California Native Plant Society who could write the article (since they would have easier access to the native plant prison garden information) or perhaps they had already written a piece about the topic that she could use for reprint. I thought this was a brilliant idea.
She replied saying she had tried to get the California people to write for her and they refused. She then went on to offer up these kind words that I gobbled up:
“I often have [difficulty finding writers. I] have contacted virtually all the state native plant societies at one time or another and had a low response rate from potential writers. You are one in a million! Cheers.”
Seriously, I need more editors who say these types of things about me!
Garden Writers Wanted
The editor’s difficulty got me thinking that perhaps she wasn’t looking in the right (write?) places for writers. So, I thought I’d use this post to put out a call to any garden writers out there who are in need of writing credits or just want to do a bit of volunteer work for the North American Native Plant Society.
The focus of articles MUST be on North American native plants or native ecosystems and there is no pay. However, the editor does give LONG lead times, the articles don’t have to be much more than 500-1000 words, and she is super easy to work with.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please contact me and I can let you know how to contact the editor.
Last week I promised a post about my bees, OR perhaps my upcoming vacation plans, but this post has already gotten a bit lengthy. I’ll be playing with my bees today, so look forward to a honey-filled post next week!
* * *
TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE TRIALS OF HERCULES: BOOK ONE OF THE OSTERIA CHRONICLES AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCIL.