When Nate Thayer posted his exchange with an Atlantic editor asking him to contribute to the site for free, he sparked a huge debate over whether writers should ever be expected to go unpaid. The short answer, if you ask me and most journalists, is no. But as a writer who has written for free, the no comes with an explanation.
When I first started writing about food, I found I could land super short pieces about things like local whiskey, seasonal ingredients, and roundups of the best brunch deals. Unsurprisingly, not a lot of outlets were interested in my oddball food stories about the architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky's kitchen designs, or the dead English romance novelist Barbara Cartland.More »