Respecting the profession

A writer’s career can be uncertain – especially the case if you are an independent freelancer. To an outsider the task may seem simple. After all, it is just a few typed words. Yet to write an article that is more than an opinion piece, requires some skill. It takes imagination to come up with an idea. It takes time to research it. It takes contacts to gain time with the relevant professionals. It may require distant travel. Then there is the physical act of writing and editing, and increasingly these days, picture sourcing. It is a skilled profession and it should receive a certain degree of respect, at least from publishers – the employers of writers. Alas this is not always the case… as I was to discover.

Future Space illegally published work by Nargess Shahmanesh Banks

Two years ago someone claiming to be an editor of a new magazine on design contacted me. He spoke passionately on the phone about his new venture Future Space. He said he was planning on creating a niche within the design world with a digital publication that was more serious than its rivals. He seemed sincere. So he commissioned me, a fee was discussed – he even bartered a little – and an email confirmed the commission and deadline. And I travelled, interviewed, wrote, edited, sourced images and delivered.

He liked the article, and promptly published it online on the Future Space Journal. It remains there at the time of writing (see screen grab). I pitched further ideas. He agreed to almost all. The next article was sent over and published – yet not a penny came my way. This is when alarm bells began to ring and I wrote him a polite email. He replied that he was waiting on some payments from advertisers after which he will surely pay for my work. I sent my final article with a warning that no others would follow until my invoices are settled. His tone changed. He replied that he didn’t like my last piece and will not publish it. From then on numerous emails went backwards and forwards. We took soft legal action – yet he didn’t appear concerned. Following a tweet linking to this post, several other Future Space freelancers got in touch with similar tales.

It is two years since my first article was published on Future Space, and yet I am still waiting for payment. Would this man posing as a professional walk into a supermarket, pick up an item and walk out without paying? I doubt it. Yet what happened here is exactly that: my work was stolen. I have kept the emails. One day they will contribute to a story – a sad and sorry story. For now they are a stark reminder to be mindful of who we trust in this crazy world!

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Comments
11 Responses to “Respecting the profession”
  1. Nick Hull says:

    Good to out these thieves to the design freelance community, hound them out

  2. Carol Naylor says:

    He appears to have conned me. Your story above is identical in many respects. I am a freelance artist and paid a small sum (£110 but its still money) to have a large spread in his magazine. He has not come back to me and sadly I have now discovered other similar stories.

  3. Similarly also got bumped off by the same editor. Has anything ever come of this? Anything we can do about it?

  4. Anon says:

    Seems to also enjoy selling advertising space and then disappearing without a trace after payment is made. Crook

  5. Jane says:

    He has recently contacted me and something didn’t feel right. Thank you very much for the heads up

  6. Clara says:

    He is a crook. Simple and plain. Do not part with any money.

    Nicholas Carr took £ for editorial – long winded explanations of his publication which sounded impressive but are I believe, fictitious. Occasionally Nicholas replied to my emails as to when I could expect publication of the promised articles – blunt odd manor saying he was delayed for various reasons and it would be honoured.

    I now realise they won’t be and as a small business owner know I was conned.
    I hope I am the last and he will be caught.

  7. George says:

    I was called today by him and thank god I have done my research. What a shame as I was charmed over the phone while he spoke to me about a beautifully created magazine that would be published in 3 different price tears.

    I was on the phone with him for an hour! Thank god I have looked into it and found the scam. I really hope he get’s caught.

  8. Lisa says:

    I hope this is not true but if this is true Nicolas Carr has also managed to con me out of £75 to run an article and an advert about my work in Future Space Magazine.
    In Dec 2017 he set up a Skype interview with me and set up a drop box for image transfer of my work. I sat and chatted to him at his desk on Skype as he convincingly interviewed me about my creative practice. He seemed totally genuine.
    I now feel violated by this twisted man and will now do my best in spreading the word to ensure no one else falls foul of this corrupt practice.

  9. Anon says:

    I was also conned by Nicolas Carr in 2013 and he owes me £300 for the work of mine he published. The story is exactly the same as those above. When I was chasing him for money a photographer in Paris got in touch with me and we both realised quickly what was happening. I still have the correspondence which when I started chasing the payment became quite unpleasant. When I think about this I also feel violated. Today I have received a mail from someone I do not know asking me what my experience was and I am horrified to see he continues to scam others using their expertise and then steals it without any further correspondence.
    Someone needs to blacklist the publication (if it does in fact exist at all?) and stop this corrupt publishing practice by reporting him as widely as possible.

  10. Nicola Albon says:

    Nicholas Carr is a crook. He has conned writers, photographers and graphic designers. He contacted me in 2011 after a friend of mine suggested me for some work (he had previously paid her for it). I negotiated £100 per piece. Not a lot but still money.

    I did a lot of work for him over a few months. He always had reasons for not paying me. In the end I refused to work for him any more. He owed me £3000. I took him to the Small Claims Court. But the claim came back to me after several months because he had moved house.

    I spoke to a designer later who had sent in the bailiffs but he still didn’t pay up.

    He takes the website/blog/online magazine down every so often, so you don’t even have the proof that you worked for him (though I still have the emails).

    It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has successfully pursued him for the money he owes them.

    I see from a Google search for Futurespace that he’s trying again (http://futurespacemagazine.com/). He does this periodically — creating a new blog/website/online magazine and getting creatives to work for him and then not paying them.

  11. James Stickley says:

    Hi

    Nicholas Carr con me out of £120 for an advert in his ‘magazine’ 2 years ago.

    He is very charming and we spoke on the phone again and again. He even did a full interview with me, which went on for over an hour to ‘ do a feature on myself and my work’. I paid for the advert and then he said heh would be in touch in a few months. If I message him now, he replies and insists that its still going to print soon (i’ve never sent him the artwork for the advert, so not sure how that works!)

    It’s only £120 but I am currently pursuing him through the small claims court. It’s a total faff and he still hasn’t paid he money yet, even though the court had judged that he should pay me but I would advise everyone to do this. He needs to be stopped.. what is is doing is just not right!!

    Also you can report him at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk …. i’d advise everyone to do this too. The more people that do it, the more chance of him being stopped. I can’t believe he is still getting away with this.

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