Presentation on theme: "Ten Ways to Charm Editors into Giving You More Work… a.k.a. How to Kill an Editor By Steenie Harvey AWAI’s Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop ● Denver,"— Presentation transcript:
Ten Ways to Charm Editors into Giving You More Work… a.k.a. How to Kill an Editor By Steenie Harvey AWAI’s Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop ● Denver, CO ● July 2009 Please turn off your cell phone. Thanks!
1. Read the Writers Guidelines, be professional Hey, Editorial Dudes! I’m a ‘newbie’ travel writer, and was recently ‘let go’ from Glasgow’s Sorry Heid strip club. The pay from my previous job as a ‘live model’ was diabolical. I need money fast!!!! Your Guidelines say ‘query first’, but my latest boyfriend (Andy, six feet tall, dreamy black eyes and into Gothic rock) says ‘go for it’. He thinks readers will LOVE my poem on 10 ways to score free drinks in Poland. Once we scrape the airfare together, we’ll try these methods out for real! Enjoy!!!! Hugs, Maggie McGurgle email@example.com
As I’ve heard nothing from you about my stunningly brilliant Polish booze poem, I’m wondering what kind of stories GG wants. (As I can’t afford to buy the magazine, it’s hard to know.) But no matter… here’s a round-up article titled ‘Lust in Scotland’s Dust: 9 Sleazy Places to Meet Glasgow’s Gigolos’. xxx Maggie McGurgle P.S. This could be the first in a regular column written by me: ‘A Guy in Every Port’. Sounds good? Either in verse or prose, whatever. 2. Understand the Magazine’s readers
3. Pay attention to what the Editor wants That boring 400-word ‘postcard’ about staying in a romantic Scottish castle you asked to see? Well, Jimmy McGregor next door says $75 isn’t worth crawling out of bed for. So I’ve done something better---and longer. Naturally I expect to be paid pro rata. I know your readers will much prefer this 10,000-word story: ‘The Scary Truth About What’s Under A Scotsman’s Kilt’. As you obviously need to be more adventuresome, I’m now working on a travel feature spiced with real-life anecdotes : ‘27 Ways To Get Banned From A Glasgow Pub.’ Maggie McGurgle
Here’s the Bermuda article you wanted six months ago. It’s rehashed from a Loch Ness story, but a monster roaming Bermuda makes it more appealing. For extra fun, there’s sidebars on nude beaches and the health benefits of drinking rendered lizard fat---which also does as sunscreen on exposed body parts. Yes, the story is late, but I was trapped in a straitjacket. Happily, I’m now out of the padded cell and into Glasgow General’s regular psycho ward. The doc says my innards suffered no lasting damage after that mix-up with liquid slug repellant in Jimmy McGregor’s garden shed. Could have sworn it was whisky... Best, Maggie firstname.lastname@example.org 4. Meet Your Deadlines
Vacations Uncovered says Scotland’s Isle of Skye is ‘the next Cancun’. Its astoonding gravel beetches offer thrilling experiences for adventurous naturists who don’t perish from Hypo-Thermia. The wildlife includes dive-bombing seegulls, killer sheep, pythons and mozzquitoes the size of Highland cattle. State Department advice is to pack insect repellant/ repellent (? ), AK47s and baseball bats. Acommodation: Hotel Rainsodden Misery (tel. ?) has some gratifyingly lusty barmen and strip poker sessions every weekend. Double rooms are $10,000 per night, breakfast extra. 5. Check your facts…and spelling
6. Stay Positive…Be Happy The Terrors of Turkey This story will make you screech in horror, but you won’t be able to put it down!!! Imagine paying $3,000 to vacation in Turkey and then finding no nudist beaches. Getting food poisoning from dodgy kebabs. Being scammed by a carpet merchant. After Jimmy McGregor had torn off his head and vomited in the hole, we both got jailed. A quite unpleasant experience… My featured hotel is Istanbul’s Hotel Cheapo, which regularly advertises in GG. Don’t expect any repeat business! I’ve warned readers about the bedbugs, fleas and their rip off bar prices.
Here’s an article on Munich’s Beerfest. Apologies for it being handwritten – I trust this won’t inconvenience you. Don’t know how, but after a wild night in the beer tent with some Scottish rugby players, some liquid accidentally got spilt over my laptop and I can’t afford to replace it. However, Jimmy next door thinks he can locate a manual typewriter at the charity shop...I’ll keep you posted. Best, Maggie McGurgle PS. You wanted photos. I’ve got a couple of me and the rugby team which I’m posting. As they’re in silver frames, DO NOT LOSE THEM. 7. Follow the submission guide
Here it is: ‘Drink Iceland Dry’. I’m not sure if the trolls I danced with in the Ice Bar were down to imagination (or even hallucination), but that’s on Pg 1. On pg 2, I explain how Olaf, my Reykjavik squeeze, went berserk after eating poisoned mushrooms. (I include a basic fungi field guide.) Pg 3 covers my encounter with a hospital stomach pump…overdid the Brennivin one night. I know you’re curious: Brennivin is made from potatoes and caraway seeds and is nicknamed ‘Black Death’. Pg 4 is devoted to Olaf’s Viking longship burial at sea. On Pg 5, I cover the best places to eat puffins and hakarl, fermented shark… 8. Cover Letters -- Keep Them Short
Dear xxxx (Editor’s name) Attached (in a Word document) is my article on Drink Your Way Around Reykjavik. It includes two sidebars – one on traditional Icelandic hangover cures and another on budget accommodation. Please get in touch should you have any questions or need any additional information. Yours sincerely, Maggie McGurgle The Old Distillery, 123 Aberdeen Rd Glasgow, Scotland Phone/fax +44 (0) 1 234-5678; Email: email@example.com Short and Sweet
9. Keep on good terms with the Editor LISTEN UP HERE !!!! I don’t want to go into ‘there will be blood’ mode, but you’ve had my story on ‘Icy Vodka and Hot Boris: Nude Encounters in a Siberian Sauna’ for 4 days now. Why the delay in contacting me? Can you cope with the editor’s job or are you completely unfit for purpose? Your reptilian assistant is equally useless. Every time I phone (I tried 25 times yesterday), the lying little toad says you’re in a meeting. As Gordon Ramsay would say, ‘what the *&!@ is going on?’ Maggie McGurgle
10. Don’t Make Ridiculous Demands As founder of BSE (Brits Strip Everywhere), I’m a celebrity within naturism circles. So I expect at least $20,000 for my story on ‘Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go to Amsterdam’. I’m not prepared to haggle like some trinket trader. Take it or leave it. And all my expenses paid, of course. This includes flying business class, 5 star hotels, ‘coffee-shop’ forays (I’m told Lebanese Gold makes the best joints), 7 nights of male escorts and unlimited bar bills. Maggie McGurgle firstname.lastname@example.org