I sent an article to Contents Magazine in January but didn’t hear back from them.
Today I sent them this email (below) to ask what happened. I am still waiting for a response, but thought you all might be interested in reading some helpful tips for some blog posts on content strategy I was considering writing. The letter is below.
I submitted an article to Contents in January but didn’t hear back. Psychologically, this has only had a minor impact on my daily functioning, as I’ve almost fully recovered from my crippling email-related paralysis/daymares, where my eyes go glassy and my mouth sags open in this bitter picture of a nearly-catatonic-yet-resilient hope-clinger — like I said, minor; we’re mostly good here.
Practically, speaking, however, I find myself unsure: is the piece dead and rejected, or can I fix it to make it better? Perhaps it’s not quite the style Contents is looking for, and I should write something entirely different? You see, I’ve quit my job and left my family and kids so I can focus exclusively on re-submissions for Contents Magazine, so you just tell me what to write and I’ll produce anything you like. I bought a new internet-enabled typewriter just for this project.
Here are some ideas I’ve been researching that I am fully qualified to write about:
- Mobile first, or why residents Mobile, Alabama will be the chosen firstfruits for the coming rapture
- How the changing role of web content has influenced remote Australian aboriginal communities’ prevailing liver disorders (It hasn’t, actually, this would be a really short article. The research is surprisingly scant.)
- Adaptive content and the nationwide burgeoning of people trying to be like NPR
- Salmon spawning patterns as a metaphor for structuring meta-content for increased likeability in social channels
- My experience growing up in the British embassy in Honduras, the charming-yet-horrifying story of a 7-year-old raised with full diplomatic immunity in the murder capital of the world, and its impact on the content strategy industry. (**Graphic content warning on that one**)
- How humanity’s destiny is intrinsically tied to how well we’ll be able to master and teach content strategy to the next generation
- Librarian superheros: why archivists and data-nerds will be the future of the web if they don masks and combat real villains and make a graphic novel and publish it online in an app-based pay-what-you-want format
- Classifying content fields for search appropriately in multi-domain, multi-lingual web projects for Big Pharma on a shoestring budget
- Pictures of my 1-year-old-daughter with captions about what she’s crying about, in the style of the recently-popular Tumblog of the same concept, except mine would include totally meta references to the cruelty of the trend itself, in the style of “Unhappy Hipsters: It’s Lonely In the Modern World,” and serve as scathing commentary of the blogosphere’s propensity for semi-anonymous bullying that actually exploits individuals in a very specific way, and how true content strategy helps escape the dehumanizing patterns of knee-jerk publishing while still retaining the human core we’re all drawn to.
- A better article than the one I sent, which clearly did not meet the high standards we’ve all set for ourselves, am I right, not that we’re wallowing, of course not, just trying to get better for the sake of the whole content strategy industry
I’m happy to fly to your house for an in-person meeting any day this week to go over these stories in more detail. Bags are packed! It will be fun.
- Kevan Gilbert