Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Know What an Editor's Job Is

(If You Want to Write...)

Do you know what an editor does?

The class clown now raises her hand and says, "Edit." Very good, clown. But do you? If you want to write and be published, you will work with editors the way athletes work with coaches. But if you don't know what an editor does, your relationships will never work very well. Class clown, please pay attention.

Editors acquire stuff. Part of their job is to read submissions from people like you and decide whether they are well written and whether they will be interesting to their readers.

Editors make stuff better. A good editor will change up your article, essay or short story to improve it. Expect changes, and even ask for them if it's appropriate.

Editors are kind of unloved. Everybody loves them because of what they can get out of them, and few love editors for themselves. When you work with editors, be polite. Be gracious (but not pushover-y.) If you bond so well with your editor, a Christmas card is not inappropriate.

Read Moonrat over at and Evil Editor at I haven't been able to find a magazine editor who blogs, but if you find them, read them. Know what an editor does, so that you can do what writers do.

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