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PostPosted: August 20th, 2006, 8:56 pm 

Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1874
August 15, 2006

Stephanie Sears, Director of Operations - ssears@odysseymc.com,
Nick Chiles, Editor-In-Chief - nchiles@odysseymc.com
Odyssey Media / Odyssey Couleur
2655 North Ocean Drive, Suite 405,
Singer Island, Florida 33404
P 561.881.035

WritersWeekly.com has a complaint about:
Odyssey Media / Odyssey Couleur / odysseymc.com

WritersWeekly.com is a publication that publishes information for and
about freelance writers. The publication is the largest-circulation
freelance writing ezine in the world.

As part of that information, WritersWeekly.com publishes a Warnings
section on its website and in its newsletter. This warning section
contains reports about publications that are unprofessional in dealing
with writers, have refused to pay writers money owed to them, who have
not abided by their contracts, or who have unfair contract terms. These
reports are used by WritersWeekly.com's subscribers to decide which
publications they should and should not work with.

Your firm has been submitted to us for inclusion in the
WritersWeekly.com Whispers and Warnings section.

Step one of our investigation of this report is to gather all relevant
correspondence between your publication and the person submitting the
complaint so that we can piece together that person's side of the story.
Step one of our investigation has been completed.

SC (name removed for publication here but was, of course, provided
to Odyssey Media) alleges you owe $600. See complete allegation
under my signature.


The second step in our investigation is to send this communication to
your firm to get its side of the story. If you have evidence disputing
these allegations, or would like to make your own statement about these
allegations for publication in our report, please email
angela@writersweekly.com within two business days.

***All correspondence for our investigations must be in writing and is
subject to publication.***

Our report on your firm is scheduled for inclusion in our publication
next Wednesday.

If there is no response to these allegations, WritersWeekly.com will
still publish this complaint, but our readers will not be able to read
your side of the story.

We appreciate your prompt response in this matter.

Angela Hoy


From: [SC]
Subject: whispers & warnings: Odyssey Couleur / Odyssey Media
Date sent: Sun, 13 Aug 2006 11:33:00 -0500

Hello Angela,

A few months ago, (I was still a full-time grad student) I
did some work for a magazine called Odyssey Couleur -- they asked me
to cover a wine conference in Boston and give them a 600-word
article. They came up with the contract and terms -- 60 days net from
the time I submitted my article, which was mid-April. There's been no
check, and a lot of run-around, particularly when I've made phone
calls. Odyssey Couleur is a subscription-only travel magazine
targeted to affluent African Americans, and circulation is 200,000.

In my last call (last week) to the office manager, Stephanie Sears,
she said, "Oh yes, the editor in chief has authorized me to release
your check EARLY." She really emphasized "early." The check was due
to me June 19. If paying me now is early, what heck is on time?

To be honest, this is the first time I've had such a ridiculous problem
getting paid.

Here's my correspondence with them:

From: [SC]
Subject: freelancer folo
Date: June 23, 2006 12:19:22 PM CDT
To: ssears@odysseymc.com

Dear Ms. Sears,

I'm writing to follow up on $600 payment due for an assigned article
I wrote in April 2006. I've attached a copy of the invoice for your
convenience. Is it possible this payment could be sent to me as soon
as possible?

If there is going to be a delay, please let me know when I may expect
payment. I am moving from the Boston area in a few weeks and I would
need to give you a change of address.

Best regards,

(invoice attached)

From: ssears@odysseymc.com
Subject: RE: freelancer folo
Date: June 23, 2006 12:57:27 PM CDT
To: [SC]

Please forward a copy of your signed contract.

Stephanie Spradley-Sears

From: [SC]
Subject: Re: freelancer folo
Date: June 23, 2006 1:41:01 PM CDT
To: ssears@odysseymc.com

Ms. Sears,

I will fax it to you later this afternoon.


From: ssears@odysseymc.com
Subject: RE: freelancer folo
Date: June 23, 2006 1:43:34 PM CDT
To: [SC]

My direct fax line is 561-881-9027.
I will advise upon receipt.

Stephanie Spradley-Sears

From: [SC]
Subject: Re: freelancer folo
Date: June 26, 2006 9:20:51 AM CDT
To: ssears@odysseymc.com

Ms. Sears,

Please look for this fax within the next hour.


From: ssears@odysseymc.com
Subject: RE: freelancer folo
Date: June 26, 2006 10:15:09 AM CDT
To: [SC]

Your fax was received.

Thank you,
Stephanie Spradley-Sears

From: [SC]
Subject: Re: freelancer folo
Date: June 28, 2006 1:26:43 PM CDT
To: ssears@odysseymc.com

Ms. Sears,

Thanks. Can you tell me when I may expect payment?

Thank you,


From: [SC]
Subject: Re: freelancer folo
Date: July 3, 2006 10:38:48 PM CDT
To: ssears@odysseymc.com

Ms. Sears,

I am moving. Please remit the $600 payment, which is past due, to me
at the following address:

(Address removed for publication. )

According to the contract terms which Odyssey Media put forth, this
payment should have been sent to me by June 19. I would greatly
appreciate it if you would cut a check and mail it as soon as
possible. If this cannot be done I need to hear from you by Friday,
July 7 via email or phone, as to a specific date upon which Odyssey
Media intends to pay me. I would also appreciate a contributor's copy
of the issue in which my article is being published (July 2006).

Thank you,


On Friday, July 21, 2006, at 09:52AM, Stephanie Sears
<ssears@odysseymc.com> wrote:

> Good morning [SC]:
> We were in the process of relocating our offices and were operating
> without telephones and email for a while.
> Our terms are 45 days net so your invoice is not past due.
> Nick Chiles has asked all writers be processed as soon as possible
> and I
> am honoring his request next week.
> Stephanie Sears

From: [SC]
Subject: RE: freelance payment
Date: July 21, 2006 11:30:24 AM CDT
To: ssears@odysseymc.com

Thank you Ms. Sears,

I am glad to know the check will be processed soon, and I do
sincerely appreciate your getting back in touch with me. By the way,
the terms on my contract were 60 days net, and the 60 days ended on
June 19. So, in fact, the check is more than a month past due beyond
the terms of the contract.

Again, thank you for writing.

Best regards,


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