National Writers Union member Jan Maher, who won the grand prize at the 2017 Great Midwest Book Festival sponsored by JM Northern Media, has still not received a check for the $1,100 appearance fee and travel expenses she was due for appearing at the New England Book Festival in February 2018. The final due date for the check was May 10. But still no check despite a series of email exchanges between Bruce Haring, the principal of JM Northern Media, and Maher from April 2018 to September 7 when he promised to “start sending you some small amounts.” Both the Director of Legal Services at the Authors Guild in September and the National Grievance and Contract Officer at the National Writers Union in November have written to Haring on Maher’s behalf demanding payment.
Haring, however, has not responded to Maher, the Authors Guild or the National Writers Union, though, he continues to mount Book Festivals. One website, which reports cases of deadbeats who don’t pay writers, estimates that JM Northern Media takes in over $1.25 million in entry fees alone each year.
Jan Maher gave Haring an ultimatum: Pay her by January 31, or she is reporting JM Northern Media to the Better Business Bureau in and the Attorney General of California. The Better Business Bureau reports that Haring has not responded to its appeals. She is filing a complaint with the Attorney General of California.
Meanwhile, it behooves all book writers looking to promote their work to boycott Book Festival contests and all JM Northern Media events in solidarity with Jan Maher. Writers rights NOW!