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Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Yes, I am a pixel-stained technopeasant wretch

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


Jo Walton has declared Monday the 234d of April International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant day. The idea is to give away a professional-quality piece you've written for free.

I'm in, and I'll be writing another post on my own musings about this topic. But first, some background. (Disclaimer: I don't belong to the SFWA, though I just discovered that I do qualify for an Associate-level membership. I am mulling over the possibility of joining.)

It all started with this missive from outgoing SFWA VP Howard V. Hendrix as to his reasons for not running for re-election. I'm not in on the politics of the SFWA, but it does look as though he's worked on some much-needed reforms during his tenure. The whole thing takes a left turn in the last four grafs when he uses the term "webscabs" to describe people who post their work for free online.

Hoo boy.

John Scalzi wrote a rebuttal. (Scalzi is running for president of the SFWA.) He's one of the people who "gets" the value of using the web as a promotional tool. Read point a. This doesn't work for everyone, but he's made a chunk o' change by going this route. The fact that it's good enough for a mainstream publisher to pick up probably helps. But perhaps that's his point. If you're a competent writer the opportunities are there.

So I'm going to offer something up on Monday. Paul suggests that I offer up the first chapter of my WIP. Might not be a bad idea. It may get me off my can (or more precisely, on it) and working on it again. Or, I may get enough "what the hell were you thinking" feedback that I remove it and move on. Either way, I'm not out anything.

If you want to join in (whether or not you've been paid for your work), visit the link above to Jo Walton's LJ.

So, is the web undercutting the wages of writers? That's for my next post.

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Filed under: Writing            
4/15/2007 3:42:52 PM
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