Recently, as part of my writing course, we were asked to submit work for the annual student anthology. I considered it for a while then read the details. The process worked like a competition, you paid a small reading fee and the winner won a cash prize - fair enough, except that if you don't win, your work could still be published with no fee or payment. In effect, you would be paying to have your work published. I don't truck with that. I know it's a student publication and they don't have a lot of cash to throw around but to me that just makes it worse - it's creating a precedent for students/writers to publish without payment.
I hate the idea of not being paid, I hate the idea of writing solely because you love it - I love my day job too but wouldn't be turning up everyday without the dollars, I hate the idea of being so eagar to get something published that you give it away.
Not that I expect to make scads and scads of cash. Let's be realistic here. If you work out the payment I've gotten for some of my stories based on an hourly, well people working in third world sweatshops would mock me.
It's the principle, not the amount. When I'm paid for my work, my work is given a value. Not that I'd never, ever give my work away and not that I've never ask myself for writers to submit work without payment but I do believe that if someone is making money from my writing, some of that should be passed back to me. I don't think that's so crazy.