Thursday, March 13, 2008

An Unnamed Magazine in Another Part of the Forest

Just read Jason's blog on how to write for magazines and Danny's on many things but in part memories of approaching Empire film magazine.

And I've got to tell you this, but I'm going to claim this is about An Unnamed Magazine.

Years ago, I pitched a feature idea to AUM and the response was pretty good; it was a not-now-but-maybe-later response. These days I'd take that as a straight no but I was young, I was new, I believed AUM and was encouraged. After a suitable interval, I tried again.

Same thing.

I was beginning to see the light but three months later or something, when I had no one else to pitch to, I figured, what the hell? I gave 'em a call, fully expecting to get an answering machine, rattle off some rubbish into it, and then never think of AUM ever again.

You're thinking they commissioned me, aren't you?

And you're right.

But not only did they commission me, they had already commissioned me. My copy was due in less than a week's time, they just hadn't ever mentioned it to me.

I took time off whatever else I was doing, did all the legwork, wrote the feature, filed the copy bang on time - and learnt that the issue was dropping a few pages. Happens all the time, though usually you know when in the year it's going to happen so you're not often caught out over-commissioning pages. But my feature was bumped back to the next issue and since AUM is a monthly, I could've had about five weeks to write this quite involved feature instead of five days.

The feature went down very well and actually did me some good outside AUM too. And for a little while I would call the editor, pitching further ideas. None of them ever sold.

Well, not so far as I know.


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