Tumblr Wants To Be The Next New Yorker
There are a lot of media sites with huge audiences. The only problem is their content is shallow and dies off quickly. This is why low-grade content creators like Gawker and Buzzfeed have jumped into the long-form game. Theyre trying to add content with substance to build companies with depth and maturity.
Tumblr is now the newest and possibly the most notorious to have popped into the game. The twist is that .
Not surprising, veteran writers find this pitch suspect. Heres what Tom Chandler of The Write Underground wrote in response to a recent PandoDaily piece:
RealNew Yorker journalism involves airplane flights and fact checkers and multiple bouts with copy editors and long stretches of time and yes a living wage for talented writers.
Maybe even a few copy editors.
In other words, I dont believe Tumblr is really interested in ponying up the real costs of New Yorker journalism like so many maturing online publications theyre seeking the credibility and prestige of New Yorker style journalism, not the investment.
His point: epic content comes at a cost.
Are you, as a content marketer, willing to do what it takes to create it? Should you create it? And can you even create it?
Lets take a look.
Tips For Writing A Novel
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Write the story that you most want to read. Which, yeah, for the majority of us means a story about a giraffe and a fireman who are best friends, and the fireman hangs out in a tree so that he can be eye-level with the giraffe, and then one day the zoo catches on fire, and the giraffe and the firemen are looking at each other, like, Oh, no!, and the fireman is thinking, How do I get down out of this tree to fight the fire?, and then he looks at the giraffes long neck, and the giraffe looks at him, and they both grin, like, Are you thinking what Im thinking?, and then the rest of the book is a choose-your-own-adventure story.
Nothing kicks ass more than when a character in your novel says the title of your novel. You dont want your readers to miss this amazing moment, so make sure to set it up such that its really obvious that your character is about to say something important. I havent read Hamlet, but I would bet that Shakespeare probably wrote something like Mrs. Globe sighed and pushed her spectacles up her nose. Welllllllll, she began, very slowly. Then she paused to wrap a scarf carefully around her neck, shook her head ruefully, and, in an important voice, declared, I guess thats why they named the puppy Hamlet.
Getting Fiction Published In The New Yorker
Posted on November 28, 2005
Getting a short story published in The New Yorker is the dream of many writers. You can find submission details here. The Stranger, a Seattle newspaper, has an interview with Deborah Treisman, the fiction editor at the New Yorker. In the interview Treisman provided some insight into how the New Yorker selects the fiction stories for each issue.
She says everyone writes an opinion of the story being considered. Some stories are liked by all six of the people in the fiction department. Arguments and debate arise when the opinion of the story is divided.
There’s so much weighing on it. It’s quite hard to pull out of a story too. That’s often why people write novels, because they can’t pull out. And it’s very hard-there’s so much pressure on the ending either to sum everything up or to culminate in some final image that’s going to say it all, and sometimes you just want to come to a stop, to let something that happened earlier in the story be the central thing.
Update: For more on submitting to the New Yorker you should also read this interview with Treisman in Forward. She says she receives 200 to 300 submissions a week. She also says 20% to 25% of the 50 stories published in The New Yorker each year are by unknown authors. She also says that it used to be harder for women fiction writers to get published by the balance has shifted in the past ten years or so.
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On Writing As A Calling
“It’s really hard to be a writer. You have to be born with incredible amounts of talent. Then you have to work hard. Then you have to be able to handle tons of rejection and not mind it and just keep pushing away at it. You have to show up at people’s doors. You can’t just email and text message people. You have to bang their doors down. You have to be interesting. You have to be fucking phenomenal to get a book published and then sell the book. When people think their writing career is not working out, it’s not working out because it’s so damn hard. It’s not harder now than it was 20 years ago. It’s just as hard. It was always hard.”
“I don’t think it’s feasible to work a full-time job and be able to do this type of reporting. You set aside two hours on Monday and make a bunch of calls. You get one person, and they start calling you back over the next couple of days, and you’re doing other things. So it really requires dedicated time. To me, that’s one of the dilemmas of longform magazine writing. It’s really done best by staff writers and freelancers who dedicate all of their time to it. It’s a job that you have to be doing all the time. Then the question of getting paid enough to compensate for that time is the one that everyone deals with in some way or another.”
Women: Don’t Read This For Men Only
Maybe its just me but I have a nagging feeling that my gender, which once was fairly successful Jonas Salk, Saul Bellow, Lowell Thomas, Tom Jones, the list goes on is sagging and sinking, uncertain about changing norms of behavior, and we dont whoop and holler the way we used to, and what this predicts for our species is not good. Geneticists are talking about the need to establish testosterone banks so that future males will be able to produce sperm and deliver it where needed, never mind earning a living or playing ice hockey.
Women, who have always been in charge of social life, are now openly wielding power, outlining goals and purposes, establishing spending limits, deciding what color the sheets and tablecloths should be. Mens clubs like the Masons and Elk and Moose are a faint shadow of themselves except perhaps in parts of South Dakota while women are reforming the culture to their liking, and in my mens group, the WBA , we discuss how, when were in a mixed group, women do most of the talking and men toss in the occasional nod or shrug or I suppose so. Back in olden times, women occupied the kitchen and talked about children, neighbors, ancestors, people at church, and men occupied the living room and talked about ideology. Now the two have merged and people are vastly more interesting than ideology, so men sit silent, dehorsed.
Men read the wrong books and get educated in the wrong subjects.
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The Hard Choices Of Elizabeth Hardwick
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Elizabeth Hardwick was a master of the opening sentence. Few writers have the guts to begin so boldlyor with so many adjectives. Heres the first line of her 1955 essay on George Eliot: She was melancholy, headachey, with a slow, disciplined, hard-won, aching genius that bore down upon her with a wondrous and exhausting force, like a great love affair in middle age. An essay about the poet Dylan Thomas begins more briskly, but with equal intrigue: He died, grotesquely, like Valentino, with mysterious weeping women at his bedside. Her biography of Herman Melville, from 2000, carries on the tradition: Herman Melville: sound the name and its to be the romance of the sea, the vast, mysterious waters for which a thousand adjectives cannot suffice.
Hardwick was born in the South, seemingly against her will. Her father, Eugene, owned a plumbing-and-heating business in Lexington her mother, Mary, labored in the home, cleaning, cooking, and gestating. The family was not poor, but Eugenes career was unstable, and he much preferred singing or chatting to working, anyway. Mary, more sombre, worshipped at the First Presbyterian Church, where Hardwick began to feel a prying sympathy for the victims of sloth and recurrent mistakes, sympathy for the tendency of lives to obey the laws of gravity and to sink downward.
The Story Of My Life: Revised Version
Ive bought many copies of Mary Olivers poems, Devotions, and on Friday I gave away the last so now Im ordering more. I gave it to a friend whose description of brushing his dogs teeth reminded me of Olivers description of a grasshopper sitting in her hand and eating sugar, the jaws moving side to side, not up and down.
He said he uses a finger pad with bristles and a beef-flavored toothpaste and the dogs tolerate it well and the brushing spares them dental miseries so it made sense. Oliver carefully describes the grasshopper chewing and washing its face and flying away and then
I dont know exactly what a prayer is.I do know how to pay attention how to kneel down in the grass,how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,which is what I have been doing all day.Tell me, what is it you plan to dowith your one wild and precious life?
Paying attention is what Oliver does in her poetry, its what her poems are about, walking out in the natural world and seeing whats there. Unlike most poets working today, she doesnt write about her own troubles. She writes:
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.Meanwhile the world goes on Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,the world offers itself to your imagination.
Abide with me, another autumn day.Night falls, the sky fills with the Milky Way.An old piano, golden apples andDishes are done, my dogs nose in my hand.
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How To Write A Cover Letter For The New Yorker Fiction Section
What should a cover letter for a short story contain? Do I need to tell what is it about, try to “sell” it? Should I write about myself?
Unfortunately, the magazine’s website doesn’t have anything useful to say. So one would imagine that standard cover letter advice would apply here.
- Your name, contact info, and a word count
- Follow their cover letter guidelines
- The letter should be to a specific person, when you can do that
- Mention the magazine, but briefly.
- Is this a simultaneous submission? Some magazines want to know that. Some don’t allow it at all.
- Keep it short. Magazines get a lot of submissions, and a long cover letter is unlikely to be read.
Since the New Yorker doesn’t really say what they need, I’d either contact them and ask for clarification or find out what other writers have done. Do they even want a cover letter? Maybe this info should just be in the email? Or maybe they just want an email address and nothing else? Ask, or put together a very brief letter.
Writing Tips From Writers And Editors For The New Yorker
Secrets on reporting and storytelling from some of the best in the business.
How does Susan Orlean find her profile subjects? How does Malcolm Gladwell get his sources to speak with him? How does Sarah Stillman bring the characters in her stories to life? Thanks to the Longform podcast, we listened in on conversations with writers for The New Yorker as they spilled their secrets for outstanding reporting and storytelling.
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Why The New Yorkers Stars Didnt Join Its Union
The 96-year-old magazine, known for its revered writers and sophisticated audience, is being consumed by a labor dispute.
A new mood of activism has swept through the home of the mascot Eustace Tilley.Credit…Nick Little
By Ben Smith
Writers for The New Yorker have been known to refer to the editor, David Remnick, as Dad, so there was something a little illicit about their decision to gather without him back in 2018 at a Windsor Terrace apartment.
Some 20 of the writers, many of them marquee names, were getting together to decide how to react to the surprise announcement that their less heralded colleagues fact checkers, copy editors, web producers, social media editors were forming a union and demanding raises.
The writers discussed whether they should follow their colleagues into the NewsGuild, and whether the magazine treated writers fairly.
George Packer broke with the magazines tight-lipped traditions by sharing details of his own deal with Condé Nast. He told his colleagues that after years of reporting from Iraq, he had requested and received health insurance before the birth of his first child. Other writers were shocked, according to several people who were there. Under The New Yorkers structure, even some of the best-known writers are considered contractors, and their bosses had given them the impression that health insurance was not a possibility.
Neither effort has gained traction.
The New Yorker Guide To Content Marketing
The New Yorker is the authority when it comes to long-form journalism. Thats why Tumblr invoked their name when advertising for freelance writers.
But what can they teach you about business-to-business content marketing? What can they teach us about using epic content to build the value of your brand?
Fortunately, a lot.
Ill dig in deep with some of the above techniques in future posts. In the meantime, get free access to the Scribe Content Marketing Library and work your way through the Copyblogger guide to content marketing.
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How To Submit To The New Yorker Magazine
Getting published in “The New Yorker” magazine and rubbing inky elbows with the likes of John Updike and Shirley Jackson is, for many writers, scaling a career peak. It’s also notoriously difficult to achieve, particularly as “The New Yorker” has never published a masthead in its magazine, the page where most magazines list the contact information for its publishers, editors and writers. Difficult, however, is not the same as impossible, and with plenty of diligence, talent and hard work, you may have the pleasure of being the magazine’s next breakout writer.
A New Yorker Staffer Questions Racial Equality At The Magazine And Becomes The Talk Of The Town
Erin Overbey took on a painstaking research project for herself in 2019. Combing through back issues of the New Yorker, she began tabulating the race and gender of the people who wrote and edited the magazine.
Her conclusions, reached this month: Almost none of the 40,000-plus feature articles and reviews published by the magazine over the decades had been edited by a Black person, and only a tiny fraction of the total were written by Black, Latino and Asian American women not surprising, perhaps, in a magazine whose history stretches to 1925. But in a few narrow categories , she determined that the New Yorkers writers were less diverse over the past 30 years than in earlier decades.
On Twitter, where Overbey posted her findings on Sept. 14 with an introduction of Lets talk about racism!, she alleged that the top editorial ranks of prestigious magazines like the New Yorker resembled member registries at Southern country clubs circa 1950. Her multipart post quickly went viral, eliciting praise from influential writers including Salman Rushdie and Nikole Hannah-Jones. Veteran critic Frank Rich a landmark in American press criticism.
But it wasnt just the research that drew attention it was also the researcher. Overbey has worked at the New Yorker for nearly 27 years, currently as its archives editor, overseeing the vast trove of articles from which her research was drawn.
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View Of The World Cover
Saul Steinberg created 85 covers and 642 internal drawings and illustrations for the magazine. His most famous work is probably its March 29, 1976, cover, an illustration most often referred to as “View of the World from 9th Avenue“, sometimes referred to as “A Parochial New Yorker’s View of the World” or “A New Yorker’s View of the World”, which depicts a map of the world as seen by self-absorbed New Yorkers.
The illustration is split in two, with the bottom half of the image showing Manhattan‘s 9th Avenue, 10th Avenue, and the Hudson River , and the top half depicting the rest of the world. The rest of the United States is the size of the three New York City blocks and is drawn as a square, with a thin brown strip along the Hudson representing “Jersey”, the names of five cities and three states scattered among a few rocks for the United States beyond New Jersey. The Pacific Ocean, perhaps half again as wide as the Hudson, separates the United States from three flattened land masses labeled China, Japan and Russia.
The illustrationhumorously depicting New Yorkers’ self-image of their place in the world, or perhaps outsiders’ view of New Yorkers’ self-imageinspired many similar works, including the poster for the 1984 filmMoscow on the Hudson that movie poster led to a lawsuit, Steinberg v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., 663 F. Supp. 706 , which held that Columbia Pictures violated the copyright that Steinberg held on his work.