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Inspiration for Writers

How (NOT) to pick an editor

Diana Flegal, Jeanette Levellie, and Cindy Sproles

“Nutty with a Dash of Meat” Jeanette Levellie here with a crazy story of how God saved me from my ditzy method of picking an editor to pitch my book idea to…

At my first writers conference since deciding to author a book, I was thrilled for the opportunity to meet with real live editors. I had already worn out the brochure detailing each one’s credentials and what they needed. Not a researcher by nature, I patted myself on the back for all the time I’d taken to pick the editors I knew would fall in love with my book idea.

Arriving at the conference early, I registered, and then rushed to the meeting room lined with eight-foot tables.  Each table held papers with names of editors and time slots for appointments.   Glory to God, there was nothing posted about a limit of how many editors each conferee could meet with. I felt like a centipede at a half off shoe sale. Grabbing my favorite purple pen, I put my name on every paper!

On my way back to my seat in the front row I overheard an attendee tell her friend, “I think you can only sign up to meet with one person.” I could feel crimson warming my face. Now I had to not only cross out my name in purple ink—proving what a novice I was—I had to narrow down my book-pitching session from twelve appointments to one.

I snatched my dog-eared brochure out of my professional-looking briefcase and perused the photos and bios for the 45th time. I also prayed my most spiritually-profound prayer, “Help me, Jesus!”

And He did. No matter that I chose this editor based on his facial hair, which I have a penchant for. He turned out to be the most helpful person at the conference, buying dozens of my humor articles over the next few years for a magazine he edited. Most of those articles became chapters in one of my books.

But I never took another purple pen to a conference.pens

 

 

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