Keith Gessen: “pitching stuff to editors, in a way it’s kind of hopeless . . .”

Longform.org podcast with n+1 editor/founder Keith Gessen:

Gessen: “I learned when I was a staff writer at New York magazine that pitching stuff to editors, in a way it’s kind of hopeless. As a writer, you just don’t know what editors are thinking, and you’ll never know what they’re thinking. The New Yorker . . . sent me to Kazakhstan, and they sent me to the Arctic . . . There’s a kind of vague outline and then you have to fill it in. With ‘Moscow Traffic,’ this is a story I pitched numerous times and they were like, ‘This isn’t gonna work.’ And so I just did it–I’ve done that a few times. You can ask for permission all the time, and if you think it’s a good idea you just do it and send it in.”


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