September 12th, 2006

More Tips for Winning Over an Editor

I pride myself on my thoroughness, which is why I’m offering this sequel to an earlier entry about how to win my editing heart. I imagine that many of my tips would transfer to other editors, too, which is a good thing since the magazine I edit has such a specialized readership (I’m sorry—did I neglect to mention the title? Read more about Fibromyalgia AWARE here).


Without further babbling:


Misspell the title of the magazine. Over and over again. Bonus points if the misspelled word is the subject of the magazine. Superbonus points if it’s also the subject of your submission. Supergalactic bonus points if the way you misspelled it makes a very poor pseudopun that you did not intend to make.


If you encounter an editor in a social situation, immediately ask about the status of your submission. If the flustered editor confesses to not yet reading it, offer words of reassurance, along the lines of “You’re going to love it.” That way she won’t have to give any thought whatsoever to accepting it. In fact, she’ll probably whip open her purse and write you a check right there. (Go ahead—try it and see!)


If you are unable to encounter the editor in a social situation, woo her with unrelenting emails checking on the status of your submission. Be sure to phrase your inquiries using firm phrases, such as “When is my essay going to run in the magazine?” Exhibiting such confidence will no doubt elicit echoing confidence in your work within the editor’s soul.


Should that ploy prove unsuccessful, and the editor regret to inform you that your submission will not be gracing the pages of her magazine, respond immediately with a lengthy email that explains—point by point—why her opinion is wrong. No doubt if your email is literary enough, she’ll change her mind. (Warning: following this particular tip—and, probably, most of the others—exposes you to the danger of being relegated to your target editor’s Junk Email list. But faint heart never won fair maiden, eh?) 


Send depressing poetry. Everyone loves depressing poetry. Especially readers whose health condition is not uncommonly accompanied by clinical depression.


If your query is given the go-ahead, don’t turn your story in. Playing hard-to-get works in other arenas, right? (Isn’t that how most marriages are contracted?) So why should writing be any different? Make the editor beg for the story you offered. (Bonus points if you play super-hard-to-get and don’t respond to her emails or phone calls inquiring after said story.)


Even better: turn in a story, but be sure it doesn’t include the information you promised. Best of all, turn in a story that addresses a different topic completely. (Everyone loves surprises!)


I have a feeling this entry-and-sequel may turn into a trilogy, or even a full-blown series—so let’s not say “Goodbye”; let’s just say “Au revoir,” and wait for more entertaining queries and submissions to come in over the Fibromyalgia AWARE transom. Till next time….