What do I do here, folks?

As some of you might be aware, I'm starting a new travel magazine.  Editors here will nod sagely when I say, it's been a bit of a wake up call just how lazy I've been as a writer, seeing how cavalierly other writers treat the pitching process.  Which brings me to my problem...

I have a writer who contacts me using my personal e-mail address, one not affiliated with the magazine. He and I have in common that he also writes for Examiner.com.  I'm guessing he thinks this buys him grace, I'm not sure.

A couple weeks or so ago, he sent me a pitch to my personal e-mail address.  I deleted it w/o reading it because it was done outside the editorial guidelines.

This morning, he sent me an e-mail, again to my personal e-mail address, asking if I'd gotten the pitch.  I responded with, "It was sent outside the editorial guidelines so, no."  He then sent it to my magazine e-mail, an obvious cut and paste, again outside the editorial guidelines.  I responded with, Please see our editorial guidelines."

What do I do here?  I'm to the point I don't want to use this guy simply because he can't follow the rules but he's being a bit tenacious and obviously knows how to get hold of me outside the magazine due to my writing for Examiner.

Do I just send him an e-mail telling him why I don't want to use him?  

Something's that resonated with me is when my 18 year old son asked me once, after a person approached me at a social function about writing function about writing for the magazine and admitting they didn't know what editorial guidelines were: If they don't know what editorial guidelines are, how can they be expected to follow them?

I'm very much interested in seeing what some of you have to say.

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  • Nancy, it appears he has not gotten the idea yet and it doesn't look like he will stop anytime soon. There comes a time when it will become an issue dealing with him and your time management. It seems as though your time has come. If he is that just block his email or have it go directly to spam.

    I'd have to say that everyone that has commented is correct, and Bev really nailed it with the email etiquette.

    Good luck, Roger

  • HI Nancy, I hear you! I have been an editor of travel and tourism magazines for 20 years now- my advice is to, as one other respondent said: either read it and decide, or just say no because they haven't followed the rules. You will make a rod for your own back if you keep dilly dallying over this writer - make it clear:

    Guigenlines to adhere to;

    Email etiquette to adhere to;

    Your final no, 'sorry but I have enough material or this does not suit our editorial schedule';

    also take the writer to task re him/her sending you correspondence at your private email - if you don't make it clear where you stand it is a given that it's ok to do this.

    I have a great line-up of professional writers but recently had a big prob;em with one not adhereing to overseas host's rules etc. It has been a shocker - but I had to tell him straight and will not be using him again because he will ruin my reputation as well as his. Always be straight up. Good luck.

  • I like Allan's phrase....talent doesn't always fit the rules....so maybe take a look, see, I think you're also feeling guilty for some reason, when editors have so many things pulling their attention...............and congrats on the new magazine..... Mike

  • Nancy, I think you can waste an awful lot of time on something like this. I see three solutions:

    1. allow yourself some flexibility and read the damn pitch and see if it's any good and of interest to your readers. If so buy it and ask him in future to follow your guidelines. Tell him this was a one-off.

    2. stick to your policy and don't respond to his queries. If you're a no-buying market he'll soon move on. So will other writers.

    3. just block him and move on. 

    Nothing kills a business faster than wrapping yourself up in small details. Details are important, but this is about talent. Talent doesn't always fit well with rules. Is the idea great? Can the writer deliver? Spend your time on that rather than how they approach you the first time. If you've told them how you like to be approached after that first contact and they persist to go against your grain then ditch 'em and move on to something productive.

  • Hi Nancy,

    So he's great because he's tenacious, but he is not great because he will not  take direction? There are loads of writers who will. The question becomes " How much time are you willing to waste with him in the future?" Go to www.ifwtwa.org . We have many qualified and experienced writers who have been paid for their work ( ie. they listen well).  This is not a pitch for IFWTWA  just  a place to  find fantastic food/ travel/ wine journalists and photogs. MW

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