June 3, 2015

Amber Leberman, Cool Person

This week, I’m talking about the amazing people I presented with at the Wind River Outdoor Writers Conference.

Amber Leberman

Amber Leberman gave the best presentation about submitting to magazines and how to keep your editor happy.  It was great! It was titled “Keeping Your Editor Gruntled.” Amber is the editor of the beautiful and august magazine Wyoming Wildlife. 

Afterwards we were urging her to write a book called Your Lazy Editor Loves You.  That was one of her main points: Your editor loves you.  She wants to love you.  Don’t make it hard for her.  Don’t be THAT WRITER.

For example, find out when he’s on deadline to go to print.  If you try to contact your editor on the week leading up to this, you’re going to get a very short answer, if any at all.  And, for heaven’s sake, don’t be that person who insists on continuing to talk.  When he says, “Sorry but I’m on deadline,” apologize and hang up. Deadline week is hell for them.

A lot of it is common sense ~ common sense that we lose when we’re wrapped up in our writerly agony. Query first ~ you don’t need to write on spec.  Don’t be difficult.  If the editor wants you to make edits, make them. Don’t be a prima donna. Get your stuff in on time. Make it your best work ALWAYS.  There are many reasons an editor rejects something, often not at all related to the quality of the work. Don’t take it personally. Be your best self. An editor will keep coming back to you if you do.

She was so charming and sensible in her presentation. She’s like, “Look. We want to like your work.  But we’re lazy, like everyone. Make it easy for us.” 

I am so stoked to get to know her and I can’t wait to hang out in the future and talk writing and herding cats ~ er, writers. She does a hard job and is amazing at it!

Here is Amber’s bio:
Amber Leberman is editor of Wyoming Wildlife, a monthly magazine for anglers, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts. She works with more than 50 freelance writers and photographers annually. Before coming to Wyoming, Leberman spent 13 years in various roles (including assistant editor, web manager and art director) with a nonprofit magazine group in Chicago, preceded by stints at Copley Press and the Chicago Tribune. She is an avid backpacker and fly angler.
Please check out Wyoming Wildlife and be awed!

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