Humor

12 Ways I Want to Respond to Editors Versus How I Actually Respond

By Brandon Ambrosino February 4th, 2016

1. Thanks for your submission, but we’re going to pass.

How I want to respond: That’s it? You can’t give me any sort of feedback? Was it too inside baseball? Something you’re planning on covering next month anyway? Give me something!

How I actually respond: No problem. Thank you for reading!

2. Going to have to pass on this.

How I wish I could respond: Really? You have to? I think you mean to say, “I choose to pass on this.”

How I actually respond: No problem. Thank you for reading!

3. I just don’t know if this is the kind of story our audience wants to read.

How I wish I could respond: Don’t blame your innocent readers. This is just your nice way of saying you don’t like the pitch, isn’t it?

How I actually respond: No problem. Thank you for reading!

4. No thanks, but please feel free to send us work in the future.

How I wish I could respond: I will definitely send you pitches in the future. Feel free to, you know, accept them!

How I actually respond: No problem. Thank you for reading, and I’ll be sure to send you more work in the future!

5. I’m gonna say no on this one, but keep pitching!

How I wish I could respond: You’ve rejected my last 12 pitches. Keep pitching? Is it your goal to extinguish any remaining shred of self-worth I’m trying to hold onto?

How I actually respond: No problem. Thank you for reading, and I’ll be sure to send you more work in the future!

6. Hm. What sort of headline do you imagine on this?

How I wish I could respond: Um, a good one? Isn’t that your job?

How I actually respond: Great question! Here’s the first five that came to mind…

7. This is a great pitch, but unfortunately I’m just now seeing it. I have to pass because it’s not in the news anymore.

How I wish I could respond: I totally understand that this piece isn’t as timely now as it was 29 days ago. You know, when I first sent the pitch with “URGENT” in the subject line.

How I actually respond: No problem. I understand you’re busy. Thank you for reading!

8. *Ignores multiple emails over an extended period of time*

How I wish I could respond: It’s been a month since I last heard from you. You owe me $500. I think I deserve a response. Like a month ago.

How I actually respond: *Composes four different emails to convince editor to respond. Chickens out, saves them all to drafts folder. Drinks a glass of wine.*

9. I can pay you $20 for this. We’re a small, alternative publication, and we just can’t afford anything more than that.

How I wish I could respond: That’s very generous. By the way, I saw your publication’s last 27 articles railing against unfair wages. I particularly like how passionate you all seem about raising the minimum wage. Just so you know, the story you want to pay me $20 for took 10 hours to complete. Do the math.

How I actually respond: Sorry, that’s too low compared to my normal rate, and this piece is going to take a lot of work. Thanks anyway.

10. Can’t pay but, as you know, our publication reaches 40 million readers a month.

How I wish I could respond: You are everything wrong with this industry. You know that freelancers will allow editors to mistreat them in exchange for that coveted byline. I won’t accept zero dollars for a story, because my writing is worth more than that. You are free to go with a lesser writer, just know that you get what you pay for.

How I actually respond: Let me think about this. *Actually thinks about this.*

11. Your article is off to a great start, but can you take another pass at it? It just needs something else.

How I wish I could respond: Well then, you’re in luck because my superpower is reading your mind.

How I actually respond: Okay, let me see what I can do.

12. Hey, this looks good as is. No changes. Here’s the link.

How I wish I could respond: Wait… link? You published this already? And you didn’t change anything? Not even that typo I just found in the lede? Be honest, you didn’t read it, did you?

How I actually respond: Oh, great! Hope to work with you again soon!

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