Check out our live webinar tomorrow and learn how to sell your work to magazines, newspapers and websites

In addition to spending the majority of our lunches every week together over chicken fingers, sub sandwiches and the occasional dose of fast food, Guide to Literary Agents Editor Chuck Sambuchino and I share a more productive (and healthier) passion: magazines and other media outlets. We’ve both worked for and written for various venues—in addition to maintaining submission/slush inboxes, including Writer’s Digest’s own—and tomorrow we’ll be teaching a live 90-minute webinar on freelancing.

We’ll tackle all things related to selling your writing to magazines, newspapers and websites, from the basics about generating ideas and composing queries to the specifics of how payments work and how to pitch. We’ll also be critiquing a one-page article query for every writer who submits one.

The webinar is set for 1 p.m. To find out more, follow this link. We’d love to have you there!

(Also, in keeping with the freelancing theme, for some of my tips about how to stand out in the slush pile, check out this list I wrote for As for today’s regular prompt …

* * *


free to take the following prompt home or post your
response (500
words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings.
If you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail it to me at, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

Things get a little too real at the Renaissance Fair.

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One thought on “Check out our live webinar tomorrow and learn how to sell your work to magazines, newspapers and websites

  1. Mark James

    Zac, this was a fun one . . .

    Julie didn’t care that I was the quarterback who won the most away games for our school or that my blue eyes and blonde hair was a perfect match for hers. She wanted romance. “I’ll buy you a rose,” I said.

    She tossed her gold colored hair over her shoulder. I loved the way she moved, how her tight sweater pulled even tighter over her chest. “Just one? That’s not romantic,” she said. “It’s cheap.”

    A bunch of guys wearing tights and playing instruments I’d never seen before walked between us. This stupid Renaissance thing had been her idea. “What do you want?” I said over the stringy music. “You’re all I ever think about.”

    Her lips pressed into a thin line. “All you ever think about is my panties.”

    I waded through the guys in tights. “That’s not true.” She looked so hurt, all I wanted was to hold her and see her smile. “I think about your bra too.”

    The late afternoon sun was in my eyes, and Julie was in silhouette. So when she came toward me, I didn’t know if she was about to slap me or what, until she said, “You’re so lame sometimes.”

    I swooped her up into my arms, swung her around in a giant circle, then set her down and kissed her smiling mouth.

    “Dare you touch her so?”

    What were the odds that some guy in costume would look at my girlfriend like she was the love of his life?

    “Mind your own business.” I got in front of Julie. “She’s with me.”

    “Stunned am I with the beauty you design to hide from me.” He touched the hilt of his sword. “Stand aside, for I am Romeo, come to rescue my fair Juliet.”

    “Cut it out,” I said. “You’re not even that good an actor.”

    “You dare insult my love for this divine creature, whose face even the most delicate flowers envy for its perfection?”

    “Really?” Julie said. “You think I’m that pretty?”

    “Your eyes, your lips, your hair,” he said, “all of them are worthy of a bard’s sole efforts, for such symmetry, such divinity, such purity was unknown in creation until your birth.”

    Julie’s eyes went all dreamy.

    “That’s enough,” I said. “You’re gone.”

    As intensely unbelievable as it was, he drew his sword. “Your insults shall die with you. Arm yourself, sir.”

    Julie drank in his blonde hair, his blue eyes, his wide shoulders. “You’d fight for me?” she said.

    I looked at her, wide-eyed. “He’s an actor. Probably not even a real blade on that thing.”

    He lunged toward me, whipping the sword through an arc that came so close, I smelled steel. “Quite real, I assure you,” Romeo said. “Will you fight for Juliet, or is your fallen aspect a confession of lowly cowardice?”

    Silence stretched between the three of us. Julie looked from me to Romeo, who could have been my twin.

    Stomach tight, frozen to the spot, I said, “I banish thee. I banish thee. I banish thee.”

    He disappeared. I turned to Julie, my hand out, palm up. “They had wizards in the Renaissance too.”

    The feel of her in my arms, the taste of her light kisses on my lips, it was all worth the fight I’d have with my dad for revealing my true self to my true love.