How Not to Write to an Editor

by Laura Michelle Thomas, Publisher jaBlog!


Occasionally, aspiring writers who are hoping to have an article published on my blog send me emails that are very similar to this:

Subject: article for you to publish
I will be VERY happy if you publish my blog article on  your blog,since it is really good. the article is called “how to ride your bicycle’ and you will really like it.

Can you see that there are more than a few problems with talking to an editor this way and why I cannot possibly publish this article?

The mistakes:

  1. There was no manuscript attached to the email. This person is asking a busy editor to surf the web looking for a blog article. Does a busy editor have time to do that?
  2. Grammatical errors in the subject line and email make for a poor impression.
  3. The tone is too familiar. I am not this person’s BFF. How does he or she know what I like?
  4. There is no salutation with my name, nor is the email signed.
  5. The subject matter of the article has nothing to do with my blog, which is about the art and craft of writing. It’s like asking a grocery store to sell car parts. No matter how great the car parts are, it’s a grocery store and the owners have an obligation to sell what their customers want and need.

These mistakes are more common that you realize. Many wannabe writers struggle to get published and often give up, not realizing that the biggest problem is how they write to editors. Respect is everything!

And, if you have screwed up and sent a letter like this to an editor, swallow your pride and try again. But, this time, put yourself in the editor’s shoes and write an email that would make you feel respected.


Laura Michelle Thomas

About Laura Michelle Thomas

Laura Michelle Thomas is a novelist, freelance writer, writing mentor, and the owner of Laura Thomas Communications. She is the creator and administrator of the Junior Authors Contests and Junior Authors Conferences. Laura is publisher and senior editor of jaBlog! and is dedicated to fostering the development of young writers worldwide.

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