Category «Editors»

Desperation (Part II) (Mistake #112)

In Desperation (Part I), I wrote the following, which I make no apologies for repeating, this time with emphasis: “Freelance writer” tells the editor you’re available for work.    “Available for work” tells the editor you’re desperate for work.    It’s no good being desperate, because editors can sniff out desperation a mile off, and …

Experimentlessness (Mistake #103)

Experiment, argues Simon Whaley, in one of his recent posts, in which he called for writers to submit contrasting and distinctive entries when intending to submit more than one to a writing competition. It was such a good idea, I thought the principle – or a version of it – could be applied to pitching …

Desperation (Mistake #101)

This may sound harsh but it needs to be covered.    Nobody wants to hire desperate people. You’re a writer. Writers write. Writers want to sell their work. Every editor knows that. It comes with the territory. Wanting to sell is the default setting.  Being desperate to sell is not the default setting.    If …

No sampling (Mistake #99)

A recent blog post by Simon Whaley put forward an interesting idea from journalist Nick Fletcher. I’ve edited lightly for clarity: “If you want a regular column … offer to supply a column and give the editor the first three or six pieces on a free trial basis … Once the free trial is over, …

You’ve got we-mail (Mistake #95)

“I’ve occasionally found myself hesitating to offer work to someone who shared an email address with their partner,” an editor of my acquaintance told me recently. I’ve seen email addresses like that too. I’m sure you have, as well. Martin-and-Moira77@yahoo.co.uk. Baz-and-Bess@yeehah.co.uk. It’s a non-issue for me, as I’m rarely in a position to commission work …

Pussyfooting (Mistake #90)

Be a bit cool when you pitch. Be a bit chilled. Imagine (imagine only) you’ve had half a glass of wine and you have a smile on your face and that it matters – but doesn’t matter that much. Some writers fret too much. I see their covering or proposal letters and they’re filled with signs …

Money, again (Mistake #85)

I’ve been experiencing a flurry of talented students emailing me with news of writing successes. “What fee have you been offered?” is my knee-jerk response to each communication, though I usually manage to check myself and squeeze in a “Congratulations!” before the filthy dosh question invariably spills over. (As an aside, I once went through …

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