Alison Garwood Jones


October 23, 2013

Freelancer Final

I don’t have any hard stats on this, but unresponsive editors appear to have reached epidemic proportions of late.

I know so many writers — newbies and veterans — whose pitches are being met with deafening silence. Everyone’s talking about it on the writing listservs I subscribe to. Editors, they say, aren’t even sending them the standard “Thanks, but no thanks” rejection letters.

A lot of sound advice is being offered up to explain and remedy this, including this article posted yesterday to the Canadian Media Guild’s blog. I can’t add to it except to say, don’t leave all your creativity in the hands of other people. Take one of those ideas, then write and art direct it yourself. We’re all publishers now, so get blogging.

Showcase your voice and let the magazines come to you. And if you still just get crickets, then you probably already know what you need to do.


7 responses to “WTF?”

  1. Gracey says:

    I love the idea but as former editor, writer, and freelancer I would say you need to cultivate connections. Also subscribe to Avant guild to know what, who, and how to pitch. People hire friends first, then people they know, then maybe if they are desperate a new person.
    That is how it goes. And the budgets are smaller and smaller, so get known and pitch on target.

  2. Jo Gifford says:

    I think pitching on target and forming connections is all fine and I agree, but I have noticed that the polite " no thanks" responses don't happen anywhere near as much as they did 10 years ago. I think that blogging and raising a profile yourself is an excellent way to have your own platform and garner more connections organically.
    Great post x

  3. Guy Saddy says:

    Editorial staff is overworked. In the past couple of years, they've seen their time being sucked up by web-type commitments, and are now expected to 'blog and tend their flock via social media, in addition to their original duties.

    That said, although I understand their reality, I don't just shrug and go home. I'll email — a couple of times, if I have to — until I get the assignment or the rejection. Usually, something has fallen through the cracks. Usually, it has to do with editors having too much on their plate.

    • AlisonGJ says:

      Thanks for weighing in, Guy. These are good points. Being persistent, but also having a deft touch in the human relations dept (i.e. taking on the right tone in follow-ups) is key. From the frequency of your byline, I’d say you have both qualities in spades. ~ A :)

  4. Guy Saddy says:

    Thanks, Alison :)

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