NCMC Thursday lecture I

I attended a lecture on Thursday at 1:30 called “For Editors Only: Rule With An Iron Fist, Yet Wear a Velvet Glove”.I came in 2 minutes late because I was trying to find the lecture room, so I missed the first point, but here are my notes:

Are you willing to have an award-winning issue? You should:

  • Triage your issues–save what you can
  • Fire a slacker, set an example
  • Publish junk, as long as it’s increasingly better and better junk

Edict #2–Overthrow the old order

  • Don’t speak for yourself; connive with advisors
  • Save up for a rainy day
  • From now on, deadline is all the time

Edict #3–Embrace your impatience

  • be impatient by design (design stuff early, turn in top two paragraphs instead of full article and give to designer)
  • Always blow your top
  • Short and small meetings all the time are better than big and long once in a while

Edict #4–Write and go to war!!

  • Think big, write small
  • Make an example of yourself
  • Cutlines and headlines show you care
  • Ask for ideas, but don’t assign them
  • Cheat on your critiques
  • Start as a jerk, ease up later

Edit with an iron fist, but wear a velvet glove

  • if troublemakers threaten to leave, let them leave. You don’t need them to bring down the integrity of your paper.
  • The most popular clubs are also the most exclusive; writers can be replaced. Remind them of this.
  • Print a magazine/newmag/newspaper that you (as the editor) really like. It’s your magazine anyway.
  • Don’t move good writers up to editors (unless they will still be writing). This may strengthen your editorial staff, but will weaken your writing staff.
  • Ask people for references
  • Big rewards mean (to students) more time to slack off. Small rewards are better; students try harder to please if rewarded.
  • Everyday stuff is interesting
  • Talk to each other

The speaker was essentially trying to troubleshoot problems that editors have and how to combat them. Conference time!! Comments to follow.


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