Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Local news: Colorado scam against writers

I read Writers Weekly religiously every Wednesday, including the "Whispers and Warnings" section. Today's Whispers and Warnings included an ongoing soap opera with a magazine that I just realized was local. In fact, the horrible woman running it even went to the same school as me!

Jeannette M. Porrazzo, the owner of Form and Style Magazine, has many counts against her. According to the forums, Jeannette Porrazzo owes a writer and an editor each $5,000 or so, and is not paying because she is supposedly "seeking funding" for the magazine. However, on her myspace blog she admits that her magazine has tanked. And goodness knows how many other writers she owes money to: another writer wrote in to say that she and a bunch of writers were outright refused payment because she can't afford to pay them. She is in breach of goodness knows how many contracts, and actually seems to think that because she can't afford to pay up, she's no longer legally obligated to.

Moreover, this woman has sent both Angela Hoy and the complaining writers many emails trying to claim that they have no right to publish their complaints about her. Bull shit they don't! It's called "freedom of speech" - you'd think an aspiring journalist would know about that.

She also has published pictures of someone's wedding - including pictures of minor children - on her website, and is selling the pictures for a profit...without the people's consent. She took the pictures while she was finishing up her degree at Metro. You'd think a journalism student would also know about the laws prohibiting her from doing that. According to the forum post regarding the pictures, the parents of the children are planning to take her to court for it.

The story caught my interest because I like to keep tabs on the scam artists in the business, but also because it's a local - Denver area - story. So, I hope all writers - whether based in the Denver area or not - will stay far, far away from Jeannette Porrazzo and FormandStyle.com.


Unknown said...

Yes, this lady is a nut case! She tried to suck me into writing for her, until I read the posts on Writers Weekly and asked her about them. She even had her "assistant" call to invite me to her birthdy party. Please... I had never met her AND I made it clear I didn't want to work with her.

Katharine Swan said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Laura! And good for you for being cautious about who you work for!

Glynna said...

I, too, have had a bad experience with the unscrupulous Ms. Porrazzo.
She contracted with me to proofread 13 articles for her mag, Form & Style, for a total of $390. I was given a very small window of time in which to complete the work. She never voiced a complaint about the quality of my work. But, when the agreed upon 60 days in which I was to expect payment came and went and I then asked for my overdue money, suddenly she says my work is crap (her very eloquent word). I have the 13 articles in the exact (poor) form in which they were sent to me and I also have all 13 corrected articles exactly as they were when I returned them to her. I would not hesitate to turn them over to an independent judge for comparison, to see which of us truly wrote c***.

Writers (and perhaps all of America) should avoid Ms Porrazzo at all costs.

Katharine Swan said...

Thank you, Glynna, for your input! You should contact Angela Hoy at Writers Weekly to see if she can help you get paid. At the very least, Angela will add your complaints to the forum thread on Ms. Porrazzo - and with any luck, that woman will never be able to find herself a writing or editing job again, let alone freelancers who will work for her!

As far as I'm concerned, if your work appears on the Internet, and you have emails that indicate the work was accepted, you deserve to be paid for the work.

Unfortunately, it does seem that Ms. Porrazzo has been running a full-fledged scam, and never intends to pay her freelancers. At the very least you can get your revenge by publishing your experiences with her on every writers' discussion board you can find!

Glynna said...

I contacted Angela Hoy about a week ago, regarding Jeannette Porrazzo's failure to pay me for my proofing work. I doubt she'll be able to influence JP to do the right, honorable and legal thing, but at least Angela is spreading the word about JP so that other writers might escape entanglement with such a user/loser. My husband is entertaining the notion of small claims court, not so much for the money as for a legal edict that would order her to cease and desist and keep her from preying on other unsuspecting writers.


Katharine Swan said...

Let us know what happens (if anything) with Angela Hoy's efforts to help out and the small claims court! I too doubt she has the money to pay all of her obligations, but it would be nice if she was prevented from ensnaring any more unsuspecting freelancers!

Anonymous said...

I met Jeannette in 2001 and this is standard behavior for her. Everyone should avoid her at all costs. She consistently uses people for her own gain. Believe me, this is nothing new, but an established pattern with her.

I'm sorry that she's currently polluting Denver with her presence.

Anonymous said...

As fas as I know Jeannette Porrazzo/Form & Style magazine/Water Lilly Publishing still hasn't paid anyone and she is still attempting to profit from everyone's hard work. I think Writersweekly.com is great to do the kind of reporting that it does to out deadbeat publishers-- and millions around the world take her word seriously. And thanks to you too, Katherine! The Colorado writing scene now has the real scoop thanks to your kind ear and local reporting!

Writers/editors of the world unite!

Anonymous said...

She is an odd duck. She has tried to use me for her own gain. And then has the audacity to call me and leave a message saying "Oh don't worry about doing the such and such for me" As if! Whatever! I mean I didn't want to do it for you to begin with and I didn't call her back, so one would think she would get a clue. She calls and leaves messages with little hints of opportunities for me, but I have learned that she is a user and only wants to use people for her own gain. She is currently polluting Los Angeles...Definitely a scam artist. She acts all nice to your face, but then acts as if you owe her something. Wierd wierd chick. If you are smart, you won't employ her. She is currently changing her name from what I heard in the grapevine..Stay away from this one. Bad news all around.

Anonymous said...

we know her and we are so glad to see her leave our town too all she does is make up stories about people harrasses everyone with her problems and lies she has bestowed herself unwantingly upon our neighborhood and residents that we are ALL in agreement..leave Jeannette ..please and get a clue!Never let her in your home she'll never leave you alone...take me here do this for me I will sue you if you don't stop....


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