Online Writing Class Part 2

So my teacher Julia Dahl suggested my story about the New York Times Travel Show might be right for Time Out New York Kids.

An earlier version of the story can be found at: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/mbcoudal/3/1267469654/tpod.html (The Travel Show is Feb. 25th to 27th. I’m going back!)

So I called the magazine and immediately got a live person. I can’t tell you her name. Because, like Valerie Plame, I keep my sources secret.

One of my favorite lines is from the outed CIA agent, Valerie Plame, played by Naomi Watts in the movie Fair Game, who said, “You can’t break me. I have no breaking point.”

Back to my story — I talked very briefly to a lovely editor who accepted my submission, and then within an hour, sent me a wonderful rejection, which basically said, “This isn’t right for us, but feel free to pitch to me in the future.”

So, I feel great! I have a source. I have to continue to make connections, write a lot, learn a lot. I have to gain more insider info. I want to become the Wikileaks of online writing classes. At least for a few more weeks until my Boot Camp for Journalists class is over.

I do want to get some of my millions of essays published. And this boot camp is not going to break me. Because I have no breaking point. And who knows? It might make me.

I am nothing, if not optimistic.

Online Writing Class

I started an online writing class a few weeks ago through MediaBistro. I figured I ought to take an online writing class because eventually I will teach one.

It’s called Boot Camp for Journalists. Classes with boot camp in the title seem to be very popular. A Facebook friend just finished a Spiritual Direction Boot Camp (which seems like an oxymoron).

Like every new endeavor, I expected this Boot Camp to fulfill a lot of my needs — intellectual, emotional, social, and my love of newness. (I am in love with New Things! New Classes! New Ideas! https://gettingmyessayspublished.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/the-tyranny-of-new/) And most importantly, this class, I thought, will help me get my essays published. But this Boot Camp is tough. I am behind on two assignments. I have a lot to learn.

Last week, we learned about pitching.

Our teacher, Julia Dahl, told us when pitching a story to a magazine be sure to address our e-mail to a real person. This is so smart. Yet magazines’ mastheads offer a generic email address for submissions, like fiction@newyorker.com What’s a writer to do?

I don’t want to give away all my juicy insider info, but okay, you broke me, the answer is call the magazine and get a real person’s name. I decided to try this yesterday.

Sorry, I’ll have to tell you how my pitch went tomorrow. Because I’ve got to run, get one of my darlings out of the tub, clean the kitchen, and start on tonite’s assignment before class starts at 9 pm (EST). Yes, in 45 minutes.