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Monday, May 31, 2010
Letters to the Editor

To submit a letter, e-mail editor Scott Leadingham at sleadingham@spj.org. All letters for publication must include a phone number for verification.

Column demands response

As a journalist, I understand Amy Green’s concern about the precedent set by online writing groups like Demand Studios (“The dilemma of Demand Studios” March/April 2010). As a journalist with bills to pay, I am very grateful for the opportunities Demand affords me. There are a plethora of sites out there that pay as low as $1 per article.

In 2009, I earned more than $25,000 from Demand Studios, and that was on a part-time basis for much of the year. The local Gannett paper did not hire me when I moved to this area, despite glowing Gannett recommendations. Then they started laying off. I am lucky to get $75 or $100 for local magazine articles. I haven’t spent a lot of time submitting queries to national magazines because of those aforementioned bills and the fact that there’s money to be made right now at Demand.

I rarely make less than $20 per article and often get to participate in special projects that pay more. Demand has a very strict editorial policy and does not hire amateurs. They constantly provide us with accolades, gifts and contests. They even have a writer’s grant program in progress now. There is a void online that needs to be filled with accurate, researched information, which we at Demand Studios fill.

I have a national journalism award and am proud to be a writer for Demand Studios. I can keep my beautiful house in the mountains and live a relaxed, peaceful life. I can take any day off I want to and work day or night. I can even work when I travel. Most of all, I can keep doing what I love: writing and making money at it.

LINDA CARRON RAY

Asheville, N.C.

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