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Sunday, December 18, 2005
Looking for Mr. Byline (Writer's Digest)
SWF (Spectacular Writer of Freelance) – 30s, dead stringer for Anita Shreve, with shapely similes and long, flowing prose – seeks Editor for perfect binding, possible long-term masthead relationship.
Long drives to think up “think pieces,” rewarding collaborations, easy on the redlining.
Misses the feel of free issues in my mailbox before they hit the stands, the look of my name in 36-point boldface serifs. I know you’re out there, climbing a Mount Everest of queries, my quality mate with a circulation in the millions. And I won’t stop until we meet.
It’s been forever since a real writing credit has made my heart flutter and account balance rise. Need a good one to make my family and comrades insanely jealous. A marriage between us might clinch the next National Magazine Award or someday birth baby anthologies.
No commitment-phobes. Ready for Frequent Contributor stauts.
Been burned in the past by Speculative Seekers who lured me into “opening a vein” and submitting 2,000-word pieces, then cast me aside with nary a call nor kill fee. Fed up with rejection.
My last byline was a wonderful cover, but turned out to be a one-write stand. Follow-up e-mails for future dates went unanswered.
Prefers next clip to come from a financially secure soul mate – that pays on acceptance – with at least a couple of dollar signs prefacing name in Writer’s Market. But will give my anecdotes away for free for a well-regarded monthly.
Must be willing to tell the world about us. Hate the byline not giving.
Child? No problem. Glossy, slick Playboy-types not wanted. Need a portfolio I can show the grandkids one day. Low-brow rags need not apply.
Local gazettes are fine, national pubs even better. The New Yorker, crème de la crème.
I’ll admit, my backstory is checkered. Have changed tenses mid-sentence. Self-published lurid novel in hopes of shock-value fame and fortune. Took the book out of print. Thankful that’s all in the past and under a pseudonym. My CV is clean.
Interested? Will sell all rights for the perfect match. Serious takers only – please use the enclosed SASE to say, “Yes!”
The essay originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine.