Craigslist Ad of the Day: The No ByLine, No Pay… No Dice Ad

by Deborah Ng

I’m not sure where to begin here. The mind boggles.

Big Magazine Looking for Male Weekly Writers (Midtown)

Reply to:
Date: 2008-11-05, 8:58AM EST

An ongoing magazine project seeks writers of all ages to keep short seven-day diaries of their relationship lives. We love women, so please feel free to respond, but we’re particularly looking for men in their 30s, 40s and 50s to tell us what they’re really thinking about their love lives. It’s a great chance to get a clip. Normal-to-boring lives are great, as are active ones. Your name will not appear. We’ll happily send you the information after you respond with your age, orientation, employment and neighborhood. Thanks!

We’ll happily send you the information after you respond with your age, orientation, employment and neighborhood.


  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: no pay
  • So. This is a job for a BIG magazine. A BIG one, people. It’s so big, you don’t get a byline or pay. It’s a great way to get a clip though, because editors will surely delight in seeing your non-bylined, non-paying diary.

    Really, what says “hire me” to a potential client than a scribbled journal of a man’s “normal to boring life” with no name attached to it?

    Clip this, buddy.


    1. Rachel says

      This does sound fishy, but I do have to say: I responded to a similar post last year that turned out to be for New York Magazine (not HUGE, but a pretty big deal). The no-byline was actually a blessing that allowed me to list personal details without feeling like someone was going to Google me and know my behind-closed-doors life. Plus, I can now count the editor with whom I worked as a professional contact. The no pay wasn’t so great though :)

    2. Heidi says

      Also, “Your name will not appear” is not the best way to get people involved… a lot of freelance writers who are starting out (like myself) would like something that they can put on their resume.

    3. robertas says

      Some of my favorites (that I can remember):

      Compensation: Perhaps

      Compensation: Possibly, in the very distant future

      And one said – we are willing to pay 1$ (!!!!!) for 500 words and do not bother asking for more, you are not going to get more anywhere else.

      You know when I’m in a good mood it makes me giggle, but when I’m in a bad mood I go from wanting to pull my hair to slapping someone silly to sobbing in a pitiful heap on the floor. Ah the life of a writer :)

      For the record (in case anyone is thinking about pulling their hair out, I know we all have those days) – I got 150$ for 500 words (from Craigslist ad believe it or not), so it is possible.

    4. Deb says

      @RAchel – Yeah, the no pay thing is usually the deal breaker for me.

      Heidi – Exactly. I wouldn’t work for no pay, but if I did I’d at least expect a byline.

      @Roberta – I joke about Craigslist but I found my best jobs through that site.

    5. robertas says

      Deb – precisely, I know when I was just starting out and popped here often (which I still do by the way) I kept thinking surely it cannot be possible. It can be a bit of a hit and miss, well a lot of hit and miss but some gems can be found.

      I don’t know about you, but what irks me the most about these non-paying gigs or the low paying ones is their list of things they expect you to know/have/do is longer then the International Monetary Fund stipulations for assistance… seriously!

      Someone mentioned that travel community ad the other day, I mean you are supposed to promote them and build their community virtually from scratch and you should do it from the goodness of your heart.

      All I will say is tsssssss

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