Made from Scratch with Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin (Episode 65)





Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin founded Scratch Magazine, a born-digital publication that tells writers what they’re worth and how the publishing industry sausage-making factory actually works. Jane has an extensive background as an editor, and may be best known for her decade at Writer’s Digest. Manjula is a freelance writer, whose work has appeared widely in places like Modern Farmer, San Francisco Weekly, and our own The Magazine, in which she wrote about musician and producer John Vanderslice.

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Show Notes

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference “celebrates the authors, teachers, students, writing programs, literary centers, and publishers,” and shifts from place to place to focus on a specific region.

Jane first worked for F&W Publications, now F+W Media, including a long stint at Writer’s Digest. (Writer’s Market lists publications that pay for work they publish.)

Bowker, which compiles Books in Print, says that 391,000 distinct titles were self-published in 2012. Writer’s Digest has an award for self-published books.

Manjula worked on POZ magazine for people living with and affected by AIDS/HIV. Who Pays Writers? started on Tumblr and is now at Scratch.

We talked about a bunch of ways in which people can get paid as journalists by patrons and supporters, including Patreon, Beacon, and Tugboat Yards. The Toast is full of awesome and hilarious writing. You can watch Ira Glass’s short series on storytelling.

The slush pile to which Manjula refers are unsolicited manuscripts.

There are a ton of electronic publishing platforms, which include 29th Street Publishing, TypeEngine, Glide, and Creatavist. Medium is a blogging platform, an independent producer of journalism, and a partner to existing publications, like The Magazine. It also purchased MATTER, which now publishes its articles for free reading. Richard Nash has his finger on the future of publishing, and is now working with Byliner.

Nicole Cliffe of The Toast; Dan Kois, a senior editor at Slate; and Alexis Madrigal, senior editor at the Atlantic spoke to Scratch about what they pay writers.

Harlan Ellison says, “Pay the writer!