Life Changingly Awesome Query Letters Part 4: Maxim Magazine

To: Gene Newman
Editor-in-Chief/Programming Director
Maxim Magazine

From: Kevin “Kevlar” Alexander

Re: A Chill Feature Query

Dear Mr. Newman,

‘Sup, bro. First up, allow me to drop some serious props. For more than ten(ish) years now, you’ve been at the forefront of magazines deemed socially acceptable for college-age guys to leave in their dorm, fraternity, and secret literary society bathroom. More tasteful with the ‘rents than Playboy and less socially alienating than Dance Magazine, you bring the Miami editorial heat with your risque layouts of Israeli Defense Force Women, features on Micheal Chiklis and bar fights, and links to online videos where you can watch yogurt explode in slo-mo (suck it, Dannon Activia Strawberry!). But maybe it’s time we take that medium level editorial heat, and “FLAME ON”. (Hah! As you probably guessed from one of your myraid interviews with Jessica Alba, that was a line from The Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm as played by Chris Evans, who, by the way–not that I’m gay or anything because i’m like so totally aggressively not– is pretty f-ing jacked in that film.)

Now that I’ve set your table Gene, allow me to serve you the features idea that has the potential to turn Maxim into Maxim-um Magazine or, at least, you know, Stuff. But first, here’s a little background appetizer. Lately, all I’ve been hearing about on my T-Mobile Sidekick is the enchanting magic and wizardry of JK Rowling’s final tome in the imaginative and delightful Harry Potter series. Now, G-man, you can bet your ironic T-shirt collection that I’ve never read any of those stupid kid witch books; or really any books for that matter, unless they were about scantily clad hot chicks shooting guns and, like, punking people. But, despite my girlfriend being really, really good looking, she’s all about young English wizards, spells and Sex and the City reruns on TBS the like. So much so that she’s even dragged me to a few Harry Potter themed dress up parties movies, which gave me this idea. I know you guys have done “Hometown Hotties” and “Top Ten Bollywood Babes” (editorial note: Kareena Kapoor at #9 over Bipasha Basu?? Are you crazy?), but what about this special spread: “Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Hotties Who’ve–For Legal Reasons– Hopefully Had Their Fictional 18th Birthdays?”

Think about it, Genie: we get an edgy cartoonist like Bill Keane or whoever draws Ziggy to illustrate the Potter Hotties and I’ll write up sassy and clever captions to accompany the spread in the standard Maxim vernacular. Here’s a tiny taste from my spoon of sass: Cho Chang: A former Ravenclaw Quidditch Seeker, this Raven haired Eastern beauty doesn’t need high speeds, weird winged ball type things and a broomstick to get our hearts pumping! Yowza!
Or:
Petunia Dursley: Harry’s aunt may seem like a nosy bitch, but behind closed doors this long-legged Muggle MILF surely knows a few spells of her own…sex spells, that is!

Although it appears to be literally perfect already (I mean, honestly, what beats yowza!?), that’s just the tip of the proverbial idea iceberg that sunk the f*cking Titanic. I’ve got millions of ideas for your mag; from “B*tchslapping Student Loans” to “Things You Can Say to Your Girlfriend When You Kind of Want to Watch A Devil Wears Prada But Don’t Want To Seem Like You Do In Front of Your Girlfriend’s Friend’s Boyfriend Who–While No Chris Evans–Still Appears Pretty Strong”.

I know a thing or two about how the editorial process works, Geno, so I know this is not going to make it straight into your no-doubt well-groomed hands without first being read by someone lower on the food chain, most likely Assistant Online Editor Amelia McDonnell-Parry. So Amelia, babe, here is a quick glimpse at my street creds to let you know just who you’re dealing with: I went pro in writing 3 years ago with the smash success of a story about 13 year olds, I’ve met people who’ve written for Dance Magazine Esquire and GQ, I imagine I’d be good at windsurfing, I’ve gotten numerous tickets for speeding and once even “got smart” with 5-0 the Cop, which is probably why the ticket was $380, and despite being allergic to freshly cut grass, I played Division Three soccer…in college!! If that doesn’t scream Maxim material then maybe I accidentally sent this to the wrong magazine, in which case I’d totes appreciate it if you could forward it on.

It’s your turn to pick who’s coming to the dance, Gene-Gene. Is it going to be the guy with infinity ideas that may or may not be good at windsurfing or some other hack who pitches you with actual “clips” and probably was never in a fraternity? The choice is yours…or maybe Amelia’s.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to do some pushups in front of my vanity mirror.

FLAME O–sh*t, I already said that.

Circus Maxim-us,

Kevin Alexander

Ps- Pictured Below: A less socially acceptable college bathroom reading option and a taste of what Billy Keane can do with swimwear.


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10 thoughts on “Life Changingly Awesome Query Letters Part 4: Maxim Magazine

  1. Amanda Smith

    Okay, this is the third time I’ve tried sending my comment and it’s not working for some reason. But I feel strongly about this and will try this once more. Sorry if it means you get several identical comments from me!

    ANYWAY, I am NOT trying to start a cat-fight here, but…Karen R., you are wrong. Maybe it’s a generational thing? This valuable blog is a wealth of popular culture wrapped up in one hilarious anecdotal stream (of consciousness?). Mr. Alexander’s WD work, while great, is his professional writing voice, but blogs are a person’s inner voice. It’s their ‘real’ voice, the real them. This and the other WD blogs are great insight into the minds of successful writers and how they tick. It shows that they’re real people, too. Somehow, it’s comforting to many of our awkward, insecure, inner thirteen-year-olds.

    So I’d advise you to stop reading blogs altogether if you don’t enjoy them–they are not supposed to do anything other than allow the writer to write–and then go tuck back into your comfy issue of WD.

  2. Sandra Darr

    Kevin –
    Thanks for running with my idea on the truth behind dating after our in-depth convo regarding Cosmo’s take on sexy and spicing up the bedroom. I think that it’s now time to ponder another possible query.

    How do writers date? This is a huge issue for me and my closest girlfriends, also writers. My life in fairly stressful and insane with a regular 9-5 job (actually, it’s usually 7-6) and then writing in my spare time. Which brings me to the issue of online dating. As a writer, this can almost be worse than a random hook-up in a bar or a blind date. Why? Because you can see the person’s writing!

    Here’s an example that kept my friends and I entertained for an abnormal amount of time:

    “would like to meet a lady that loves to have fun and is very open minded about evrything. i want some one who cares about thereself and is willin to care about some one else no game player because i am not one and i would reallyl like to meet soem on”

    So Kevin, are you willin’ to take a chance on this theme? I’m thinking a nice query to Writer’s Digest is in order.

    That’s how I roll. Holla!

    Sandra

  3. Karen Rankowitz

    Geez Kevin,

    I really had a hard time getting thru your piece here…not at all what I see in the WD Magazine…and maybe that is what you are going for…I don’t know.

    See, I’ve been a fan of yours in the magazine since you started…and I know you wish to excercise your independent thoughts…but to me, and it is my opinion, which may suck, but this is so different from you magazine pieces, that it leaves me perplexed.

    Blogs are not something I read everyday…I think most blogs are personal vents for frustrated people who only wish to nag at the world.

    Don’t fall into this kind of writing, it does not do you justice and only turns off the readers who want to see "Kevin Alexander" as he writes in the publishing world.

    WD is about getting published and I think you have more in you than a blog that stoops to what every other blog writer does.

  4. Pam Davenport

    Kevin,

    Remember your ‘Muda shorts photo you posted? Lemon drops, huh? Looks like Tarzan has had a few Lemon Drops, too.

    Loved your letter. "’Sup, bro" is always a good opener.

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