Written for Qercus? Send it to DrobeBy Chris Williams. Published: 8th Apr 2006, 17:50:12 | Permalink | Printable
But issues 277 and 278 are in the pipelineEditorial Some six months have passed since Qercus readers have seen a magazine. A twelve issue subscription will set you back 50 quid, or 86 Euros if you live on the European mainland. Editor John Cartmell has given no verbose official word on the fate of his publication, whose last issue was number 276 in September 2005. Readers are left to sit tight patiently, demand a refund, or turn to the few other outlets for their RISC OS news and features fix.
In November last year, I was asked by John to produce some articles for him. I eventually wrote three feature articles, including an interview with an ex-Tematic engineer and a beginner's guide to producing illustrations using stock images and other photos. At the time I was a freelance writer, yet didn't mind being paid next to nothing for writing over 6,000 words with graphics - well below NUJ recommendations, in fact. John says he still wants to use them, yet when the next Qercus issue will appear is uncertain. The fact that I haven't been paid yet isn't the issue; I would rather have my work published and read by RISC OS users, than lying dormant on John's hard disc.
I'm not the only writer left in this position. Others too have contributed to the magazine, yet can't be sure if the fruits of their efforts will ever make it into print. If you've written a piece for John, I'd like to invite you send it drobe.co.uk. We can make it suitable for the web, and publish it for the thousands of people who visit our website every month, month after month.
I contacted John about this last night, and he asked me to hold off publishing this article for two more weeks - although declined to explain what would happen in that time. Within an hour, John emailed Qercus contributors apologising for the delay, again blaming production and printing issues for causing the hold up. He also explained that an increase in the cover price to meet extra costs would be unacceptable to subscribers, and it sounds like John's still pursuing the noble goal of trying to produce the whole publication on RISC OS - leading to problems with passing on the right materials to the printers, it's believed.
Issues 277 and 278 are apparently finished, with 277 in production and 278 to be updated with the latest news and printed once 277 is in the post. Contributors are expected to be paid after the Easter break, and then be asked to write again for the magazine.
If you want to share your work with drobe.co.uk, drop us an email to discuss your plans. If you aren't a Qercus contributor but have an article idea, get in touch. Hopefully we can work out something that will be of a benefit to everyone concerned.
Incidentally, David Bradforth is toying with the idea of producing a magazine exclusively for the Wakefield show.
Qercus formed from Acorn User and Acorn Publisher merger
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