You didn’t have a fresh angle or timely hook. In other words, it was just a bad pitch. When I was an editor, I can’t tell you how many slush-pile submissions failed to expose an angle I hadn’t considered before or highlight a news peg that felt perfectly timed. In the case of the story submission experiment, David Cameron sent a piece that had already run—which means that even if a New Yorker editor did open the email, I imagine he might say, without even making it to the end of the piece, “Oh, we just recently published a short story about trout fishing in America. Definitely passing.”

 

Ann Friedman is a magazine editor who loves the internet. She lives in Los Angeles