Part 3 in the series: “Understand Thy Editor”
Another duty of an editor is to be a creator. You can make an impression by lending a helping hand. The editor is responsible for creating new columns, developing new series, introducing new authors, and producing fascinating layouts. Freelancers can help in the process by coming up with new styles of writing, unusual graphics such as maps, cartoons, drawings, or spectacular photos, and innovative article ideas.
I once wrote Writer’s Digest and asked if the editor would like an interview with a dead man. As I expected, no one had ever offered such an idea before. I explained that I planned to direct modern questions about writing to Jack London (who died in 1916) and then have him “respond” by quoting from passages in his novels, short stories, and articles. I received an enthusiastic go-ahead for the idea, and “Interview with Jack London” later appeared in the July 1979, issue. I also wrote a similar article, “If Jack London Had Edited Robert Frost,” for another periodical. So, never be afraid to approach an editor with an off-the-wall idea. After all, that’s what creativity is.
Next week, Part 4, “Helping an Editor with Copy Reading and Writing”
Adapted from Writing for Profit by Dennis E. Hensley (Thomas Nelson, 1985; revised 2003). At Taylor University in Upland, IN, Dr. Hensley teaches students in the Professional Writing Major the importance of communicating. © 2012 by Dennis E. Hensley. All rights reserved.