Saturday, April 10, 2010

For the Freelance Community

I originally started Fallen Princess in 1994 after Sassy folded and I needed somewhere to complain about my frustrations with freelance magazine writing. I would often call my friend Charles Aaron to vent about sundry freelance humiliations. "Oh, the Fallen Princess," he would say, half-sympathetically, half-mockingly. And so the site was born. It had a short life, but it provided me with the illusion of control over my destiny. I subtitled the site "For the Freelance Community." I imagined it as a safe haven where freelancers would commiserate, but mostly, I wished to complain. I also would publish my killed stories, my contracts for my killed stories, accounts of the indignities I suffered at the hands of editors and publicists. And then I would wonder why my freelance career was going so poorly.

Ever since the magazine I last worked for folded 4 years ago, friends have suggested I start a blog. I couldn't understand why I should write for free. I was annoyed at how everyone seems to have a blog. I didn't know what I could add. Instead, I spent three years as a stay-at-home mom and community volunteer. Then my kids got bigger, I became bored, and I tried to get back into the freelance writing game. It hasn't been so easy.

I wrote the piece about door-to-door solicitors after dinner one night this week. I was thinking it would be perfect for the "Complaint Box" section of the New York Times. I submitted it via email and immediately got back this automated response:
"Thank you for writing to the Metropolitan Section. If you have submitted a Complaint Box essay, you should hear back from us within a month if we are interested in publishing it. If you do not hear back, thanks anyway, and feel free to submit it

I'm too impatient to wait a month. So I started this blog.


  1. Long live the Princess! It's been way too long since other fallen royalty had a kingdom to commiserate in. Many thanks, Princess Poops, for resurrecting this great site/blog! Long may you reign, and write...
    A loyal member of your fiefdom

  2. I look at my blog as "morning coffee with friends and colleagues", as much of a dialogue as a monologue. A place to brainstorm and/or bitch and moan about the ups and downs of the freelance life.

    We spend so much time alone, it's nice to feel a little bit part of a community, even virtually.

    And then go back to the page, meet the next deadline, pitch to the next editor, etc.


  3. is this christina kelly from sassy/jane/ym/ellegirl?
    because if so, i think i'm about to gush.

    I was too young for the sassy days, but I remember reading YM and Ellegirl under your direction (which I guess would've only been a few years ago, but what a difference there is between being 16 and 20). holy crap woman, your work was a huge influence on me. I mean, for one thing, Ellegirl was the first place I heard about fashion blogging and now here i am...also I've spent a pretty penny on old issues of Sassy after reading "How Sassy Changed My Life."
    anyway, i've wanted to write to you for a while but I didn't know how to contact you (google was useless, apparently there are a lot of Christina Kelly's out there). I am, telling you how much i love you, on the internet. please keep blogging.

  4. Hey, thanks. That's really sweet. I checked out your blog and it was cool! I have no idea what I'm doing but this is fun. Christina

  5. Hey,
    Means a lot that you like my blog. Actually, my high-school obsession with magazines has turned into a college internship at one called Worn ( I'd really like to send you a copy of the latest issue...would you have an e-mail I can contact you at?

  6. I loved Sassy so much and am thrilled to find your little spot of Internet here. @AFitz, I will buy those old copies of Sassy off you!

  7. Campbell - sorry, but no way in hell am I selling my Sassy's. Hope you understand!
    There are some old articles online here -
    There used to be an entire scanned issue of the magazine online somewhere but it was forced down for copywrite reasons

  8. My favorite part about freelancing right now is the ads I come across online. "We can't pay you, but we'll give you full credit for your work!"
    Really? FULL credit? Not just partial credit? Man, how nice that you're going to tell people I wrote this! It's not like that's something I would expect from any writing deal, oh no! That's a total bonus!

    Anyway, welcome to the minty fresh world of blogging. Please enjoy your stay.