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I was sports editor for my high school newspaper, but I think I shied away from journalism.
I thought it was a glorious thing to be a critic and to be a literary editor, and one was really doing something that mattered: to keep up standards, to take books seriously.
I was working at the 'Evening Standard' when I heard that there was a job going as deputy literary editor on the 'New Statesman.' I remember thinking, 'That's perfect.' It was three days a week, and I had children, but I could make that work - so I applied for it and got it.
I'd gotten myself into a kind of journalism that wasn't really compatible with rearing an infant. I'd been a foreign correspondent for a long time and had this subspecialty in covering catastrophes. It had spoiled me a little because you have a tremendous amount of autonomy, and I couldn't really see being an editor in an office.
I just fell into the job as a fashion editor at a teen magazine. I was there for two years, and I left there as a senior fashion editor at the age of 25.
After university, I got a job sub-editing and for years I was a literary editor.
One of the great joys of launching your idea on the web is that it's a meritocracy. The good stuff will rise to the top and find an audience, and you don't have to impress one idiosyncratic commissioning editor.
The first job I was offered was as an editorial assistant. I think it was the best thing for me, in terms of being a storyteller by nature, to have spent years being an editor because I learned so much from it.
I've earned my living in all sorts of terrible ways - as a janitor, a copy editor, a psychotherapist.
I lived through a classic publishing story. My editor was fired a month before the book came out. The editor who took it over already had a full plate. It was never advertised. We didn't get reviewed in any major outlets.
I was the Playmate editor for 'Playboy' for two years. I produced two years' worth of centerfolds. I did everything on that, from picking the girls to designing the sets to picking the wardrobe, coming up with themes, assigning the photographer, down to editing the photos and approving the retouching.
I think one of the interesting things is that vi is really a mode-based editor.
It was not until I began to write a book called 'Light Years' that an editor really stepped in. The editor was Joe Fox at Random House, and he wound up editing a subsequent book.
Speak to any editor and ask them what they turned down, and they'll have long lists of books.
I sent The World Well Lost to one editor who rejected it on sight, and then wrote a letter to every other editor in the field warning them against the story, and urging them to reject it on sight without reading it.
With Digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allow an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do.
Not too many people know who the editor is.
I had a great editor, Rebecca Corbett, from the time I was a city reporter right through to the years I worked on the 'Sun's' enterprise reporting team.
Book writing is a little different because, in my case, my editor is a year younger than me and basically has the same sensibility as me.
The way I found time to write 'The Imperfectionists' was that I took work as a copy editor at the 'International Herald Tribune' in Paris, working full-time for approximately six months, then taking my savings from that and writing full-time, then returning after six months, and so on, until the book was done!
I don't want to be an editor - I want to be really forward about that. I would be a horrible editor.
I stayed at 'Cosmo' well beyond my internship, moving up the ranks over some 15 years to become books editor, then brand director, then editor-at-large - editing everything from an excerpt of Gore Vidal's memoir to writing some of those juicy cover lines myself.
And that's another piece of advice I'll give junior writers; when you get to the point where they take you to lunch, let the editor suggest where to go.
I was spoiled by theater, where there is no editor.
Every newspaper editor says the heart of the paper is the reporter - which is true - except for the pay!
C. S. Lewis
John F. Kennedy
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