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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

How to Professionally Deal with Editors

New writers often make a botch of this, so I'd like to give them a continuing glimpse behind the scenes of how a veteran at the game makes it look smooth and easy. First exhibit, here is a letter I just sent to an editor who hasnd't responded to a recent -- hmmm -- maybe late last night -- query stating the next story I'd like to -- no, will publish in his fly-by-night vehicle:

Did you receive the brief query I sent about the use of eminent domain to boot XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX?
(Sorry, faithful readers, I can't reveal the gist of my pitch to any of you second-rate, derivative hacks. Now back to the letter:)

If your're still considering it, please just let me know. I realize it was just a sketch for a piece kind of a half-assed one at that -- so please tell me if you'd like it fleshed out. If you think the idea sucks the left mammary gland of a star-nosed mole, you may convey that thought by the prominent appearance of such a mole on the next XXXX Magazine cover. If you wish I'd
just bugger off and leave you alone, then you can signal that by streaking during the next XXXX event, for as long as it takes for security to get a positive ID, and then turning over the editorial "rings of power" -- 3.65 rings he granted to scribbling editors in their halls of flourescent light, wasn't it? -- to me.

Thanks,
Your faithful servant and catamite applicant,
Gene Callahan

The primary principles illustrated in the example above are to put yourself in the editor's shoes, imagine what types of situation he may perceive as facing him in making a decision on your piece, and to suggest creative ways around them

Good luck applying lesson one!

3 comments:

  1. Fair advice from a pro I s'pose. Your're typo was unrelevant. You started losing me when you tore through the half assed draft comment. I think the editor would expect more detail as to which it is: half assed empty or half assed full. But the failure that could not be recovered from even with the catamite regards was not explaining which left teet of the star nosed mole and if it would be the moles left or the editors left. Good luck in the future.

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  2. Anonymous1:18 PM

    Your age might cause your application to be disqualified.

    ReplyDelete
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