Archive for the ‘Dear Aliya’ Category

Dear Aliya: Two jobs. What do I do?

February 25, 2022

Discovered in my Inbox:

Hey Aliya:

Love your blog. Will send something for your ‘pitch me’ column soon.

In the meantime. I need advice. BADLY.

Graduated in May from REDACTED University with a degree in journalism/mass communication. For nine months, looking for a job. In the meantime, I have been fake-interning at an entertainment magazine (a pull out supplement in the Sunday paper) in my hometown. I don’t get paid. (I was an official intern when I was in college.) I am just here so I can keep my face visible for when a job does become available. I work in several different departments. I do get to write a little. I even work in the design department sometimes which is great because I feel like I’m learning lots of different things.

I kept hearing rumors that the editor-in-chief’s assistant was moving and that he would be looking for a new assistant. But I never saw a job listing and no one seemed to know anything definitive. I applied for two editorial assistant jobs at very well known magazines. One job is at my ULTIMATE DREAM MAGAZINE. I was pretty sure I didn’t have a chance. But thats the job i would kill for. Anyway, last week, the editor in chief at my current “job” finally asked me to apply to be his assistant. Seven other people applied and I got the job! I accepted the job and my start date is set for April 1.

Two days later, I got a call from REDACTED magazine (my dream job). I was offered a position as an editorial assistant.

The salary is 15,000 higher at my dream job. And it’s Manhattan. (I currently live about 100 miles outside of NYC)

I had already taken the other job. But I still said YES immediately to the new job.

Now I have to quit a job I haven’t even started yet. The staff there has known me since I was an intern two years ago and everyone is nice and friendly. I know I will burn a bridge forever and this is my hometown so I will see these people. My parents and my college professor told me I need to keep the job I accepted and that is wrong to do anything else.

What would you do? I really want this other job. I know you are busy. And by the time you write me back I might already have made a decision. But I’d like to get your thoughts on this situation anyway. Thanks you.

-Nott Marealname

Here’s my answer to Nott: (well, an expanded version of my answer…)


Dear Aliya: They accepted my story. Why won’t they publish it?

December 1, 2009

From my In Box:

Dear Aliya:

Your site is a great resource for new freelancers. Thanks for offering your advice and experiences. I have a query. I’m still a student, but starting my career as a young journalist based in New York. I have a regular gig with a prominent website, but recently I had my first foray with print. I wrote up my pitch and sent it in (to a national weekly). Call it beginners luck but they bought it soon afterwards. I know things can move slowly with a magazine and that editors can sit on stories for as long as they want. They can even enact the dreaded kill fee. I recently filed the story and to be honest, I don’t know anything about its current status. Is there anyway to know if a story is being sat on? or whether its death is being contemplated?

Thanks much, I hope to hear your advice,



What I love about my blog is that when I hear from new freelancers, they are going through the same things I’m going through, even with ten years in the game.

My response to Alex:


Dear Aliya: Where Do You Find Inspiration To Write?

October 19, 2009

inspiration.jpg (JPEG Image, 430x306 pixels)

I’m typing this on a flight to Dallas. First time using in-flight Internet. Sweet!

So, this morning, I got a tweet from MissCocoaLuv.


It’s a great question and one I hear often from writers.

I can’t find the time.

I can’t find the space.

I don’t know what to write.

Warning: Harsh words ahead


Dear Aliya: The Magazine Won’t Pay Me. PART TWO.

May 29, 2009

So yesterday, I responded to a dear reader who is being stiffed by a magazine for 500.00. I gave some advice.

Thing is, I wanted to give Broke In Brooklyn two examples. But I ran out of time.

I really want BIB to know about another situation that happened to me. Years after the episode with the fashion magazine. It’s a situation that still makes my blood run cold today.

A few years ago, I was approached to ghostwrite/collaborate on my very first celebrity memoir. What happened is a cautionary tale that must be shared…


Dear Aliya: The magazine won’t pay me. Now what?

May 28, 2009

From my InBox:

Dear Aliya:

This is for that section on your blog when you give advice. I am so mad. It’s been a year. And a magazine that I wrote a story for still has not paid me. I have called, emailed and sent snail mail. At first, they just kept saying one more month. And now, no one is even returning my calls or emails.

This was my first story for this magazine. And it’s a national publication. I know that all magazines are going through it right now. But I’m pissed. It’s not like I don’t need the money.

And how come they can’t even reach out and give me the real deal on what’s going on? That is so disrespectful to me.

Now what do I do? They owe me 500.00. Which is nothing to them. But it’s something to me.

My friends have told me that if I try too hard to get the money back, I won’t be able to write for the magazine ever again. I’m just starting out.  I don’t want to lose this connection. But it’s been a year and they have not assigned me anything else anyway.

Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do?


Broke in Brooklyn

My (extended) response to Broke…