Friday, February 23, 2007
Most come back in their SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) with "thanks, but no thanks" pre-printed, one-size fits all note.
Some have the same beginning with the stupid addition "however, we're keeping it for possible future publication". I've never understood why anyone would add that line. What does that mean? Is that the equivalent of an editor's stalker version of "if I can't have you, no one else will"?
The reason behind this article was this recent turndown I received from a company that represents columnists. A colleague suggested I look up the website and see if they would represent me. I followed the guidelines, read some of their examples, printed out several of this blogs postings, some magazine blurbs, a few recipes with their accompanying stories, etc.. I added my resume, a cover letter, the required picture, the SASE and mailed it off.
Twelve short weeks later, I see my envelope. I knew what that meant. REJECT. It read this way:
Thank you so much for your interest in joining our line-up. The columns and articles you sent were just terrific. You are quite a gifted writer. I found myself laughing out loud, crying at times and thinking about your words. I went on to your website to read the rest!
Unfortunately, it is not what we are looking for at this time. Congrats on becoming a grandmother. Good luck-you shouldn't have any problem finding a full-time position.
Morbid curiosity had me e-mailing her. First I thanked her for her lovely note and the time she spent on my packet. Then I point blank asked her (okay, not this bluntly)-if you don't want someone who can make you feel a range of emotions and can write well-what are you looking for?
Her reply-"we are looking for someone who can, with every column, change the reader's life-give them information that no one else can" Was she nuts? This is the era of the world wide web! Even me, miss technodweeb, can find almost everything! As for changing peoples lives with every viewing?
However, this did clear things up-she wanted to take on and represent the almighty himself!
I talked to some other freelancers-they practically fell off their desk chairs laughing. I swear I heard one in New York through the phone lines go kerplop. They wanted to know where on earth was she from? They suggested shrugging off the note and the incident.
It was a good idea, but first, as with most of the things that happen in my life-I wrote an amusing article-hopefully one that made one of you think and change your life in some way.
Sorry to hear that you got the rejection notice. Ouch!!!
I hope that the sting doesn't last long.... It's their loss!!!!
Imagine the pressure of being expected to change all sorts of people's lives with each column!?! What an expectation.... Lofty.... I wonder if their organization has that type of goal for EACH of Themselves or just 'hires out' that grand commission!
It is probable that in the long run, you'll be happier while they'll still be searching..... for someone truly unattainable....
By the way, your columns are sweet and personal but they do make you think in ways and experiences that you would not normally do so. They are also ones that affect your heart in a special way. Isn't that changing or even freeing for the reader???
I'm glad that the editor actually took the time to read and respond to your work. Often, that is not the case. She's also given you another life experience to mull over and turn into 'more grist for the mill'.
I hope that she finds that she's hooked on your work and keep reading. That would be poetic justice indeed.
Ruthy, from the Woman's Day Walking Club blogs
Suite101 is looking for freelance writers, and they'll pay. The only thing is, they refuse to use your blog as a reference, and you are not allowed to send them samples of blog postings. I found the application to be a little tough requirement-wise, but I only began to have professional writing aspirations six months ago. I don't have a resume, and I don't really have any "information" articles written to send as samples.
Also, they are an "information"-type site, not a "life-experience"-type site...meaning, they don't really want to hear about a camping trip or an anniversary party, etc. They just want you to pick an informative, educational subject and write about it. They run the gamut of subjects, from different psychological disorders to different gardening tools! For instance, Teri is obviously a fantastic writer, but they don't want musings, they want info. At least, that's what it seems like to me! And I don't know if she writes stuff like that, so I didn't mention it to her, or anyone else in our little "circle" (I guess I should anyway).
However, I know that you have all of your recipes and your cooking tips (previously published material is okay to send as a sample, as long as it's not from a blog)...you may even be able to become a feature writer with recipe info...and it pays more!
It's worth a try...I'd love to see one of us make it on there!
Yes, Suite101.com. I used to post comments there a couple of years ago and I guess they still had my name? It was sent to my old email address, which I still have but don't use. I just happened to check on it last week, and they had just sent the email.
I'm sure their pay is trivial as well, but hey, you're still being paid to do what you love! It can only lead to bigger and better things!
You just can't win them all! I had to laugh too, how can you possibly change someone's life each and every day,,,,,unless you're writing for convicts?
I think I want her job! On 2nd thought, no,,,,,it's just not in me to dole out rejection slips.
It's their loss,,,,,,just keep going. Success will come!
It takes incredible strength to be a free-lance writer, apparently, and your sense of humor must come in handy. I really tried to take that comment seriously, and imagine whether I had ever read any column which fit that description. How crazy! I would have been tempted to email that person again to ask for an example of such a writer of such a column.
Well, congratulations on getting over it!
thanks for reading.