3 Things You Should Never Tell an Editor

by David Miller May 7, 2009
MatadorU will teach you the skills you need to become a travel journalist.

WHEN I FIRST STARTED out as a writer I made some terrible pitches. They actually weren’t pitches, but really just me trying to reach out to editors hoping they would recognize the inherent genius of my emails and take me under their wing.

Rightfully, they were ignored.

Likewise we get a bunch of these kinds of beginner’s pitches. Now, being on the receiving end of them, I have to choose whether to waste precious time responding to them, or feel some kind of karmic repercussion for ignoring them.

This morning I asked Matador’s Managing editor Julie Schwietert for her advice on beginning writers dealing with editors. She came up the following list of things never to tell an editor. I thought that was a good start.

Please help us, other editors, and most of all, yourselves, by not writing any of the following:

I have hundreds of stories. Let me know which of my experiences might interest you.

Come with one idea, well-developed, rather than “100” ideas that aren’t developed at all.

I’m about to go to Mexico. Is there a story you need?

Ditto the above. As you develop a relationship with an editor, he or she will learn more about you, your interests, and your writing abilities and will pitch ideas to you as needs and synergies arise.

I’m a single mom who just got back from a trip with my daughters. We had a blast. If you want us to write for you, let me know.

You get the idea. Editors have all the work they need. Don’t give them any more. *Get access to paid freelance travel writing opportunities and an active community of travel journalists by enrolling in the MatadorU Travel Writing program.

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