Writers: Sometimes Nagging Works! – by Dennis Stostad

Writers: Sometimes Nagging Works! – by Dennis Stostad

I was browsing the Writer’s Market humor section and I found a magazine called “STITCHES, The Journal of Medical Humor.” Medical humor sounded like an oxymoron. I like writing humor. I don’t like anything “medical.”

In fact, I have an irrational fear of all the things doctors do to us. You want to draw some blood? I break out in a sweat and my knees get rubbery. I get nauseated when I see an “ears pierced” sign in a jewelry store window. (If I were a woman, I wouldn’t wear earrings.) If I am injured, and require stitches, I’m liable to pass out on the emergency room floor.

I wondered if there was anything funny about my medical phobia. Would anyone find me amusing?

I tried to see the humor. And, in January, I submitted a thousand-word article titled “Confessions of a Great Big Sissy.” I submitted the complete manuscript to Stitches

In February, five weeks later, I had no response. I sent an email. The editor replied “I’m swamped. Can you give me a couple weeks?”

I tried again in a couple weeks. No answer.

Finally, in April, I sent yet another email. Remembering the editor was “swamped,” I needed to make my message stand out in his email in-basket, so I made the subject line: “Nag nag nag, all I do is nag.”

The first line of my email content said, “And nagging isn’t a very good way to make friends and I really want you to like me… Please forgive the nagging.” I reminded him that this was my third “nag… errr, request.”

His reply came the next day. He wrote: “Well, sometimes nagging works…”

He continued “I just read your article. I enjoyed it and would like to publish in an upcoming issue…”

He said it was a little long, the ideal length would be 650-700 words. He offered to cut it but I figured that was my job. I edited it down to 694 words, and sent it again. And in the May/June 2006 issue, my article was published.

Sadly, and I insist it’s not my fault, Stitches is now out of print.


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Dennis Stostad is retired after a thirty-three year career with State Farm Insurance, where much of his work involved writing training programs, business communication, and articles for company publications. Now he writes for fun (and money).  In retirement he’s created blogs, written emails to entertain, written one Print-on-Demand book, and dabbled in sports photography. He lives in Round Rock, Texas, just north of Austin, with his wife of 54 years, Beverly. Their daughter Jill works in the new-home building business and son Tim is an attorney.

Read more about Dennis at his website: www.Dstostad.com – it includes his published writings and a link to his book, “Drunk Like Me,” the story of his alcoholic brother. It includes the “Confession of a great big sissy” article, the subject of this success story.

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