It’s Good To Be A New Writer

It’s Good To Be A New Writer

It’s Good To Be A New Writer

Posted on 01/27/2023 Evan Swensen
It’s Good To Be A New Writer

There’s a rumor in the publishing world that an editor won’t even look at a new writer’s work. It might be true for certain types of writing, but after interviewing hundreds of editors, I’ve found that most are more open to new writers than you might think.

And there are a few significant benefits to being a new writer too. So, before you spend too much time trying to work out how you can appear to be a published professional writer when you’re not, consider taking advantage of your current position as a newcomer.

What are the advantages? Here are four positive points of being a new writer that will help you get work—they all come directly from editors.

  1. It’s Easier to Impress

Editor says… “I don’t mind new writers at all. If you’re new and act professionally, I’m usually willing to give you a go. However, I’d suggest that new writers be honest about who they are.

I’ll be impressed if I get a good article from a new writer. To me, that’s my chance to discover new talent. That’s when I’ll contact the writer and try to help them. If I get a pretty good article by an unknown writer pretending to be an experienced writer, I will probably issue a standard rejection.” -Evelyn, Magazine Editor

An editor is likely to expect a lot if you claim to be a professional and experienced writer. That means it will take a lot to impress them. Even a good article might not be enough to get their attention. But if you tell the truth and admit that you’re a new writer, it takes a lot less to impress. A new writer with a professional approach is something special – just sending a professional quality submission might even be enough to impress.

  1. There’s Room to Grow

Editor says… “When I get a good article from a new writer, I’m always pleased. Why? Because new writers with the right skills and attitude are wonderful for our magazine. They can be shaped to suit our style; they listen to instructions and usually have a positive attitude. That’s the kind of writer I like to take on and mentor.” –Stephanie, Magazine Editor

If an editor knows that you’re a new writer, you’re giving them the chance to spot new talent. If you’re new and suitable for their publication, you might be taken in and mentored until you suit their style.

The same isn’t likely to happen if the editor thinks you’re experienced. Instead of looking at your work and thinking that it shows potential, they’ll assume it’s the best you can do.

  1. Anything Else, And You Risk Losing Their Interest

Editor says… “I would tell writers to be careful if they’re going to exaggerate. I know everyone does it on resumes. But if someone claims to have been a writer for twenty years and is pitching my low-paying mag, I’m going to wonder two things. First, I’m going to wonder if they’re lying. Second, I wonder why they’re not working for a higher-paying magazine if they have that much experience. If they’re not lying, I have to assume they’re just bad writers. Either way, it doesn’t look good for them.” – Danielle, Magazine Editor

You must target the right kinds of markets if you’re a new writer. And if you are targeting small markets, claiming years of experience will only make editors suspicious.

  1. Attitude Matters

Editor says… “It’s simple. Many seasoned writers pitching me have a bit of an attitude, a hint of suspicion, and often a streak of boredom. Fresh writers pitching me tend to have nothing but positive energy and enthusiasm. I’ll take the enthusiastic writer, please.” –Sam, Editor

If you can’t go in with experience, go in with enthusiasm. That might be the significant advantage that gets you the job.

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