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Writing for mags like The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, etc.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    My wife thought I was a nutjob when I told her as a kid I would sit and read the Encyclopedia Britannica. I wanted to buy a set for our children and she said the Internets is the best thing now. I disagreed but was overruled.

    Micke, pubications has an "l" in it. You must have skipped the P section in the dictionary. ;D
  2. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    In the course of putting together a story does anyone ever recall a moment in an interview, or part of watching your subject do something, that is so clear and accurate that it's scary?

    Sometimes I have that happen. A memory is so vivid from part of a conversation or event or visit to a subject's house (office, school, whatever). I believe it's because I've paid such close attention to what is a critical detail yet later I find that I did not take any, or extensive, notes about it.

    That sounds crazy, I know. I find myself calling the subject to go over it again and sometimes it adds an extra element to the story.

    Anyone else have something similar occur?
  3. When did I sign up for this class? And how much did it cost?

    Guess I signed up oh, two hours ago, when I started reading this post. And I'm sure it cost a lot because it has been amazing.

    I'm only quoting jgmacg, but I swear I'm not playing favorites. Thank you, each and every one of you, for posting in this thread. It's great advice, and it really does feel like I'm back in school.

    Only this time, I feel like school is worth every cent. [Of course, I got a full ride to college and reading this thread is free, but I think you get my point.]
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Goddamn, I miss him.
  5. pseudo

    pseudo Well-Known Member

    You 'n' me and a lot of other people, buckdub.
  6. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

  7. Honesty Kills

    Honesty Kills New Member

    I'm sorry for the ignorance, because I didn't know who he was other than a poster, and wans't here often enough to build any kind of relationship.

    But who was he, and where did he go? That post quoted above is one of the best essays i've ever seen, and there were one or two other classics in here by other posters.... but can somebody fill me in on jcmcg?
  8. pseudo

    pseudo Well-Known Member

    Gladly, HK. I won't out jg, although his identity isn't necessarily difficult to deduce. He was, in my humble opinion, the best damn writer here even before he became the driving force behind the Writer's Workshop.

    As to why he left ... a link in this thread may give you the answer you seek.
  9. Honesty Kills

    Honesty Kills New Member

    Cheers, thanks.

    Damn, shame. I've always found internet message board jealousy funny. But some people take it seriously, and feel like taking a shot at somebody puts them over in some way. Too bad, kids fail to realize that having grownups in the circle - even ones you may disagree with - adds the benefit of perspective.
  10. jetssack

    jetssack Member

    I need advice from the big shot writer dudes.

    How do you prevent big-name glossies from ripping off your pitched ideas and assigning them to their staff writers (particularly in this economy)?

    I'm at a point where I've just begun to break into magazines from local newspapers. At ESPN, they claim they are starving for ideas, but twice I've seen my (unusual/easily identifiable) ideas written up by a staffer, just weeks after I pitched them -- at the editors' request, no less.

    At a sports monthly for which I have written two pieces (and received enthusiastic feedback from the ME), I pitched an idea which the same ME said they'd be passing on - and saw it written up today by a staffer.

    I realize that once you've established a close relationship with these eds, this crap is less likely to happen. But until that happens - and especially in a recession - how do you protect your ideas from being assigned to writers on the payroll? Thanks.
  11. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Pretty good question. In this economy there isn't as much freelance work, but you still need to keep in touch with editors regularly so when their hands start to become untied you can be first in line. Except don't show your hand too quickly -- instead of "are you in the market for ideas?", say "can you take something from me?" If the editors are reasonable, they'll understand. Ideas are gold, and you don't just hand those out.

    Every magazine IS starving for ideas. It's a hundred times harder to get a good idea than a good writer. My wife is a mag editor and now gets dozens of letters every month from laid-off newspaper folks and the like who are clamoring for work. Really heart-wrenching stuff, and she's the kind who wants to help. Yet only a fraction of those people bring ideas to the table.

    If you have to make blind pitches, toss out some smaller things first, don't give them your opus that you've been writing in your head for months.
  12. Giftedwrita

    Giftedwrita New Member

    I'm new to this board and everyday, I wonder WHY it took me so long to find it.

    The advice, insight I receive on a daily basis is a Godsend.

    Include this thread and the accompanying replies right there among the top.

    Obviously, I'm a lightweight in a ring FULL of heavyweights as far as credentials and experience go in reference to this particular thread.

    As far as this thread is concerned my question is this;

    Specifically, I'm referring to post #17 (jcgmag) but anyone with sage advice feel free to jump in.

    In terms of submitting work to places you had no business too.

    I've worked for a number of smaller magazines, a number of newspapers and a few on line ventures.

    When I submit my work do you suggest merely submitting a "hard copy" of my work, meaning simply the text of the article or the "genuine article" itself.

    What I mean by "genuine article" is the actual copy of the article itself or a copy of the article that includes pictures, page jumps, etc.

    I know this is probably an amateur question but as I prepare to submit work I oftentimes wrestle with exactly what I should send and in what form I should send it.
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