Letters To The Editor For October 6th

~Beware the Publisher Who Asks You to Stop Writing For Others!~

Ahoy, Hoy:

Call this “Two birds in hand worth flock in bush” for lack of a better summary. To make a long story short, one of my regular freelancers had for some time been writing two articles per month, and cut back to one per month in order to write for another magazine that pays more. (We don’t pay much, but we do pay regularly.)

Outbid is outbid, I say, and that’s that. I would never chastise a writer for going for more money, nor would you, I suspect. However, you might warn magazine writers that start-ups are often the warm and fuzzy dreams of the uninitiated, and the river of gold that flows therefrom can take a while to go from intermittent trickle to full flood.

Beware the unfledged publisher who wants you to clear the decks in anticipation of the launch of their magazine.

A battle-scarred veteran editor will likely wish you well and immediately solicit an article from another writer. Should your higher-paying gig be postponed, you may well be out of luck for several cycles, unless you’re Hunter S. Thompson or someone of equal stature.

Editors are people, too. The wise writer will know that an editor often must deal with graphic artists whose cradle language is something other than English; publishers who think punctuation is a pointy-headed-liberal indulgence; agency copy writers who are functionally illiterate on good days; sales personnel who need help endorsing their commission checks; receptionists who can’t fathom why they should have to take messages; printers who call in the dead of night because they can’t understand the instructions from the art department (see graphic artists above), and friends and family who equate “editor” with the image of Jackie Kennedy gliding between limo and lunch.

-Name not published on request



I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your incredibly informative newsletter. I am a new writer, just testing the waters for the moment and I find your newsletter to be a great help. The articles always have some gem that I can use and your job market listings are a wonderful resource. Thank you for all you do.

Have a wonderful time on your road trip. When I was growing up in Florida my mother always took my sister and I to the area renaissance festivals. We were more than thrilled everytime. I wish you many great experiences with your family as you travel the roads together.

Dawn Bournand

~No Man But a Blockhead…~

Good morning, Angela

Having been a full-time freelance writer for more than 30 years (still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up), I’ve been interested in the letters from writers who approach editors who don’t wish to pay, regardless of the rate.

For some time, I have had Samuel Johnson’s 18th century proviso posted prominently in my office – “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.”

Continued success.

Marv Gisser