Those Comment Boxes Work


In my search for all things Belgium, I came across a dynamo of an inflight magazine. Red Hot. Where does it fly? Anywhere Virgin Express flies.

Naturally I wanted to know how to submit. But they didn’t have any online guidelines. The only contact information was in the shape of one of those email comment boxes. I don’t know about you, but I never trust those. Probably because so many of my entries end up unanswered.

Not this time. I asked for some submission guidelines and suggested it go to their editorial department. Bam! I got an immediate reply from the Features Editor and she wanted to see some writing samples.

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So, what does one send off when asked for writing samples? Do you send the best writing you’ve done no mater how old? The biggest bylines you’ve received? Or a variety of the kind of work you can do? A combo of all of them seems about right to me, but I haven’t done it enough times to give you the statistics on what works.

In the end, I did up a new resume that’s just about my writing. Or most of it. And the samples I sent ran the gamut from newsletter website reviews, to TT essays, to magazine pieces. I also wanted to send along some restaurant reviews, but I didn’t have them at the ready.

Don’t you be like me–in a fix to gather this essential stuff. Instead, assume that everyone will be asking for your clips, and have them all organized and primed for your outbox. If you specialize in a few different veins, then have them grouped accordingly.

I’m not sure if she’ll respond since my reply wasn’t as quick as hers was to mine. But regardless, now I’m raring to go and all set up for the next one. In fact, since I did all this work, I’m going to call it a new year’s resolution and check it off early! Wahooo!