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.