Now, with permission, agony-aunt-style, we’ll be sharing a new one with you each Monday. If you have a question you’d like to see included, please send it to us at questions [at] dreamoftravelwriting.com and make sure to include a line saying we have permission to reprint your question.
On to the tricky travel writing questions!
This week, I’ve got a very interesting conundrum for you that I actually hadn’t heard of previously, but I am starting to wonder if some of you might be secretly doing this.
Here’s the situation:
“I sent a pitch and did not get a response. I followed up on the pitch a couple weeks later but with a revised, and I hope better pitch.
This time I got a response. The response was very brief, ‘would you please re-send the pitch?’
Does she mean to resend the original pitch? I did send her a pitch in the follow-up. Just a little confused as to what she wants.”
This is a really tight spot to be in.
From the editor’s response, it seems quite clear that she realizes she’s being send a revised version of a pitch that she already essentially declined by not responding. (It’s not uncommon for some editors to consider non-response a “no”–though they typically advertise this on their website when it’s the case–and expect you assume that as well.)
The issue here is sort of one of “no means no,” even though it’s tricky because the editor didn’t actually respond to this writer in the first place declining the pitch.
It goes more to the point that editors expect that you have sent them your best possible submission in the first place. If you have something “better” to offer, why didn’t you wait to pitch them until you had that? Why did you waste their time in the first place?
It can seem a bit curt, and in our live workshops on pitching, we talk a lot about the difference between best practices and editor pet peeves, and this certainly falls a bit into the later.
Here was my response to this writer (and I was sad I didn’t have better news here):
“You really can’t send re-writes of pitches to the same editor like that, so you may have burned the bridge. For now, resend the original email, but be prepared to not hear back from her after that.”
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