My Article in ByLine Magazine
I got a pleasant surprise yesterday — a big fat envelope from ByLine Magazine containing a check and a couple of copies of the April 2008 issue with an article by me featured on the front cover! I hadn’t known the article was accepted for publication, so it was a real surprise indeed!
The article is called “Build Your Virtual Office: Ten Great Online Tools for Writers” and lists ten types of online applications writers will find handy. I’m not going to say too much about the article, since I’d really rather people head to ByLine Magazine‘s website and order it as a back issue.
Or, better yet, subscribe. ByLine is a strange bird in the writing magazine niche — written almost entirely by freelancers, produced by a single publisher acting on her own (that is, not as part of a corporate publishing empire), with content ranging from poetry and short stories to how-tos, markets, and thought-pieces. It’s the kind of off-beat magazine that deserves wider recognition — and the kind that, since it isn’t getting it, struggles from month-to-month to stay afloat.
Especially right now — magazine sales are hurting across the board due to the easy access to quality material on the Internet, paper prices are rising (I think due to global lumber shortages), postage prices keep going up and up (a cent increase doesn’t affect your letters to grandma much, but imagine sending out thousands of pieces of mail a month). It’s a hard time to be a “little” magazine, and I’d hate for the writing world to lose one of the few publications out there dedicated solely to our craft.
Subscriptions to ByLine are $29 US a year (but they just went from monthly to bi-monthly, so that might change the subscription rate); you can order a sample issue for $5 US. Their ordering page is here.
Meanwhile, I’m going to bask in the glow of my first magazine sale. I’ve been published in periodicals before, but never for pay — that’s the “joy” of the academic marketplace! The funny thing is, turn-around in the print world is so slow — decisions are made after weeks or months of deliberation, then production starts months before the actual publication date — that my bio includes nothing about this site, my work at Lifehack, or even the title of my book (which was still in the “working title” stage).
Seems to me that Byline may have folded. I have not received the May issue, and cannot access any website with direct contact to it. Do you have any info?
It looks like ByLine changed something in their server configuration so that the non-www version of the web address no longer goes anywhere; use http://www.bylinemag.com/
You wouldn’t have gotten a May edition, since ByLine went bi-monthly to cope with rising costs. I have an April edition in front of me, so the newest one must be June. Which still doesn’t explain why you haven’t gotten *that one* yet.
…I believe their next issue is July/August. I have a short story slated for publication in that issue, and I exchanged e-mails with the editor a month ago. They’re still there, as is their website at the address Dustin noted in his post.
James M. O’Meara
I’ve been hunting around for information regarding ByLine magazine. During my hunt regarding news on them, I came across this site, and seeing you have recently sold them a piece, I thought I’d pop in and ask a question about them.
I sent them a short story last November, and since then have sent 2 letters and 1 Email of inquiry concerning it. I have not gotten a response from any of them. Today, I tried to send Email to one of the links at their website, and it bounced back saying it was undeliverable. Do you know what might be happening over there? How long did it take for you to get a response back for yours?
I sent an article to them in May and I haven’t heard back from them since.
Sorry for the delay in the reply to George’s e-mail. My last contact with the editor was June 13, when I had to send a second copy of my submission and bio for the next issue. The editor couldn’t find the snail-mail copy of the original. The magazine is still out there to the best of my knowledge. I had read posts at other sites that indicated follow-up with the magazine was necessary after a submission was sent in, and even if it was accepted.
I started with a query letter. I went that route because the story had done very well in a Glimmer Train fiction contest. The editor wrote back in short order asking to see the story. I mailed it out on May 5, 2007. I got a response on June 1 accepting the story for the July/August 2008 issue. (The story’s title is July 27, and the editor and I agreed it would be best run during the summer, so 2008 it was).
I sent e-mails periodically to the editor just to maintain contact. After one e-mail this past winter, the editor asked me for a bio. I’d sent one with the story, but it went missing. I took advantage of that to update my bio and e-mailed another.
On June 12, the editor wrote to say she was “on the verge” of putting together the July/August issue, but lost the piece. I e-mailed her the story and bio again. She wrote back on the 13th to thank me for the quick turnaround on her request for a second copy of the story.
Bottom line, from where I sit: You have to keep in touch regularly with this magazine, even after they accept a piece. It seems the editor has a lot going on, and at times gets overwhelmed. Or, she may merely be a bit disorganized. Remember…the author of this article started his piece with: “…I got a pleasant surprise yesterday.” He didn’t even know his article was accepted.
I see today on the website for ByLine Magazine, they acknowledge they’re not publishing for now due to personal problems for the owner. They are not accepting submissions, except it suggests they are still accepting contest submissions (& $ for entering them) and will list winners’s names online. I haven’t seen info on the contest winners for ones I entered in May or later however.
I read this today at:
Ann: I saw that, too. It’s a real shame — I feel that there is definitely room for another high quality writing magazine next to Writer’s Digest, The Writer, and Writer’s Journal. At the same time, there have been a lot of blows against small magazines the last year — postage rates went way up for magazine publishers, and the cost of paper is increasing as well. ByLine had a lot of untapped potential, and it would have been nice to Hess and co. be able to make it reach that potential.
I received my May/June issue in July, a tipoff to problems right there. In it (page 43) I saw notice that I had received cash awards in two contests (which, of course, charge an entry fee), a first place for $35 and a third for $10. Naturally I was thrilled.
I had also noticed that ominous cover: an illustration of a house with a large sign out front that says “Good-bye.” As a past editor of numerous small publications myself, I can tell you for certain that cover art does not happen by accident. Even though I searched the contents unsuccessfully for any illuminating clue, I was not surprised later on to see the website notice that the magazine was shutting down operations.
After waiting three months for a check, I did some digging and found two e-mail addresses for the owner and editor, Robbi Hess. I sent an inquiry to each–this was about 2 weeks ago–asking if the cash prize money would be forthcoming. To date there has been no reply.
Sorry to hear that, Meredy. I hope you get paid soon.
I had only just begun my subscription, and then this happened. I don’t suppose they’ll be sending refunds?
I entered an April contest and haven’t seen any results from that.
By the way, thanks to the person who runs this website for allowing us to talk about this here!
Carol: I’m happy to have people discuss this here. I’m really disappointed by the closure of Byline – I was really impressed with the magazine and hate to see the field of writing magazines made even smaller. One sign of the impending failure of the magazine is that this page is one of the top results in Google for “Byline Magazine”, whereas the magazine itself did not appear even in the first five pages of Google results. It seems to me that the editor and publisher had a great eye for content but not such good sense when it came to using the Internet well or marketing and distributing the magazine.
Which, come to think of it, is a problem a lot of writers face, too — our core strength is in the creation of written material, not in marketing and distributing what we write.
Thanks, Dustin. Yes, I agree with what you said.
I, too, have written emails to Robbi, but they have gone unanswered. If I hear anything, I’ll let everyone know.
Dustin, I keep meaning to say–congrats on your article!!
I love Byline magazine! Congratulations on your article publication!
I have had troubles with Byline, too. Last year I sent an article to Robbi and was pretty sure she had accepted my article – she said they were going to press and she needed my bio – but then they folded before I could get a copy of the final May/June edition. I only recently found out I’d been published, and I still haven’t received payment. I blogged about it here:
I am trying to find a back issue of Byline Magazine that contains the story “Ankle Biters of Old Arizona; or, Attack of the Wild Chihuahuas”. The story was printed in your magazine sometime in the early 1990’s. The author’s name is O’Neil DeNoux. An acquaintance suggested that particular story might be useful in a class I’m teaching, one component of which is using humor in short story writing.
I would, of course, be glad to pay for the copy of the magazine. If the magazine is not available, would it be possible to pay to have a copy of the story sent to me? Or, can you suggest any other place the magazine/story might be available (other than the Sniplets web site–that’s only audio, and I want my students to see a printed copy).
Does anyone know of libraries which may have subscribed to the magazine? If nothing else is available, and the answer to my library question is “yes”, could you send the names of the libraries to me. Perhaps I can find one in my area and obtain the story that way. Also, can anyone tell me the month and year in which the story was published?
Sincere thanks for any assistance provided.
Rose: I’m not affiliated with the magazine in any way, so I can’t really answer your questions. You might try contacting the author directly, though; his website is at http://oneildenoux.com/