Quick and Painless Advice: Getting Humor Published in Magazines
(from the 20 tips in Mike Sacks’ book, And Here’s the Kicker)
19. “Most editors say they want more humor in their magazines, but not many do. What they really want is humor that they find funny and that they would write if they could, which they can’t, or else there would already be humor in their magazines. Consequently, you have to adapt your sense of humor to meet their sensibilities.”
(Brilliant point, Mike! But how, oh how, is the aspiring humor writer supposed to accomplish this brilliant feat? Oh, wait. There’s more to this tip.)
“It’s very difficult.” (Point well taken, Mike.) “So if and when you find an editor who shares your sensibility, marry, adopt, imprison, or do whatever it takes to maintain that relationship. The other approach is to skip the pitch and just write it. You don’t want to waste a lot of time waiting for an editor to evaluate the pitch. Just write it-either the editor will laugh or not.”
So, grasshopper, (I’m segueing into What Not To Do Wednesday now), don’t run around like a humor writer with his head chopped off, sending out subs with no rhyme or reason. If a market’s accepted your work, or encouraged you in any way, send another piece soon thereafter. Chances are very good that you’ll be accepted. It’s worked for me.
Conversely, if you’ve sent five humorous submissions to the same market, without a single bite, you may want to hold off on submission number 6. Also um, worked for me. (It’s not exactly painless or quick, but it is solid advice when it comes to getting your humor published in magazines.)