Thursday, January 10, 2013

In which I attempt to break free from my own unpaid internship with WWPD Industries

Having completed one of my New Year's resolutions, it's of course time to get moving on the rest. The dissertation plods along, but is in that lull that happens when you get to a document you know would be enough material to submit, but there's just a bit more that would improve it, and that your committee probably expects, so you keep going, but without the same terror as can occur when you're starting with a blank page. And yeah, I still eat a lot of pasta, not too worried about it.

Which leaves pitching articles. If you have suggestions for how to go about this, please comment, and if you've offered suggestions in the past and I've been all, 'but my dissertation,' expect to hear from me soon. I'm past the barrier of getting demoralized if I send something somewhere, quasi-solicited, and never hear back, so this isn't a matter of wanting to know how not to fear rejection. I'm thinking strategy. 

What motivates me, in part, is that there keep being articles in prominent places that are totally posts I've written here. I don't have any reason to think these writers have seen my posts - I can conclude only that these were good ideas more than one of us came up with around the same time. The latest: the neurosis Facebook invented, in the words of Joyce Wadler in the Style section


Rachel @ Musings of an Inappropriate Woman said...

I read an article recently which quoted you. So you never know how many of those journos have read your work (we read a lot, after all).

As for pitching/strategy tips, I direct you to this, this and this.

David Schraub said...

Are we talking pop-ish articles (something in the NY Times Magazine type thing). or academic articles/chapters? Because I've had a hankering to do some sort of anthology on new perspectives on anti-Semitism.

Phoebe said...


Thanks for the suggestions!

Indeed, part of what gives me confidence in this arena, apart from ancient-history magazine-work experience, is that I am quoted by reasonable writer-and-journalist-sorts (yourself included!) reasonably often. But in these recent cases of seeing a topic I'd blogged appearing elsewhere in article form, I really doubt if anything on WWPD could have been the inspiration.


I suppose I was talking pop-ish, but if we're looking at my full to-do list, both. I like this anthology idea...

Petey said...

But you are almost perfect for an intern in WWPD Industries. Sure, you're starting to age out of perfect a slight bit, but still!

If you insist on persisting with such silliness, may I humbly suggest pitching an article of Diasporism centered on you meeting a double?

(Also, on a closely related topic, in a previous post, you happened to mention that all grad lit students are really trying to write novels. But, of course, none of them do. It's the grad students in fiction writing MFA programs who write novels. The grad lit students are all too busy worrying about the upcoming snake defense to bother with novels.)

But not to worry. Once you start charging Andrew Sullivan-style fees to read your WWPD Industries blog, the whole idea of pitching articles will seem quaint.

Phoebe said...


Alas, I'm neither Philip Roth nor Andrew Sullivan nor 22 years old.

Miss Self-Important said...

Phoebe said...


Good idea!

Petey said...

"Alas, I'm neither Philip Roth nor Andrew Sullivan nor 22 years old."

Well, could you play Andrew Sullivan's double? Or were you looking for actually helpful suggestions, as opposed to nonsensical, lame attempt at humor suggestions?


I guess I just had to share my pleasure in my late discovery of Roth's adult work.

As a callow youth, I read and greatly enjoyed his early period work. (I still think The Great American Novel is the funniest book I've ever read, but that may have as much to do with where I was mentally when I read it as the book itself.)

But I'd totally ignored his more mature output until the past few months. And now I'm just drinking them in, one after another. Some pretty amazingly bravura writing on subject matter I can relate to. Everything I've dived into from '94 to '04 has been superb.

Who knew?