From the first moment I discovered Allvoices.com, I knew I had found a veritable writers’ paradise. I thoroughly researched the site, including reading hundreds of articles written by AV contributors. I communicated directly with some of them in an attempt to feel them out as to the “legitimacy” of the place.
I have been writing and publishing since at least 1967, beginning at Indiana University, Indiana State University, and University of Wisconsin. As with most writers, I began with poetry, and still write a decent poem – if I do say so myself.
As any freelancer will tell you, the problem with freelancing is not so much the writing, but the getting paid part. Very few organizations have deigned to pay me for my efforts over the years. Most claim poverty. Indeed, Chicago’s only black daily newspaper used to not just publish my commentary weekly, but actually featured and advertised my work. They never paid me a dime (even though I implored them on several occasions to do so). Finally, I just quit sending them material.
The advent of the Internet has been a “godsend” for guys (and ladies) like me. The advent of Allvoices.com has allowed us to express ourselves openly, honestly, forcefully – and get paid according to how many folks take the time to read our scribblings. With AV, I tried hard but could find no gimmicks. No tricks. No bait-and-switch surprises or tactics. Hey, if you write it, "they" will read it...and you are paid in precise proportion to the size of your readership. What a concept! How refreshing!
As to the American Pundit Contest, when first I read about it, I determined then and there that I would win, or write my fingers to the bone trying. As you know, I got second place out of thousands of entries. That makes me feel good. Proud. Makes me feel that my work has not been in vain.
Thanks to all.
Herbert Dyer, Jr.