A Sample E-Query

A Sample E-Query
Author:
Publish date:

To: editor@fastcompany.com
Subject: Brain Wedgies for bug spray marketers

Jack Neff
470 North St.
Batavia, Ohio
(513) 555-2210
Fax: (513) 555-9000
March 17, 1998

Bill Breen
Senior Editor
Fast Company
77 N. Washington St.
Boston, MA 02114-1927

Dear Mr. Breen

Despite toiling in such unglamorous businesses as bug spray and toilet bowl cleaners, S.C. Johnson & Son has had three of the top ten new product concepts in the past two years, as rated by AcuPOLL, a Cincinnati market research firm.

How do they create fresh ideas for very old product categories? "Brain wedgies." That''s what Marc Marsan, president of Sawtooth Invention Company, calls tactics he uses to shock corporate clients out of creative complacency. Sample brain wedgies include having male executives walk around wearing sanitary napkins or masked marketing executives describe how they use toilet paper. Marsan also mixes into his sessions thinkers from other fields, such as former football coach Sam Wyche, inventor of the no-huddle offense.

I''ve been invited to go through one of Marsan''s product development sessions with S.C. Johnson--on the ground rules that I can''t discuss specific product ideas before they go to market. Still, I believe the story of a seemingly staid company using shock tactics to spark creativity would fit with Fast Company''s focus on how smart companies work.

I''m a Cincinnati-based freelance business writer who covers consumer goods for Advertising Age and other business publications. I know it''s pushy to get demanding in a story pitch, but, because of the imminent approach of the session and S.C. Johnson''s natural suspicion about reporters without firm assignments, I would like to hear from you by March 20. I can provide clips by e-mail or fax at a moment''s notice if you''re interested.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,

Jack Neff

Jack Neff is a freelance business writer and a co-author of the Writer''s Digest Guide to Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript.

See also:
Advice on Sending E-Queries
Editors and E-Queries

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

Your story belongs to you but will involve other people. Where do your rights end and theirs begin?

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Editor-in-chief Amy Jones navigates how to know your target audience, and how knowing will make your writing stronger.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 575

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a safe poem.

ryoji-iwata-QKHmi6ENAmk-unsplash

I Spy

Every writer needs a little inspiration once and a while. For today's prompt, someone is watching your narrator ... but there's a twist.

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Learn how to distinguish the sole from the soul with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

In this brave new world of virtual learning and social distance, Kristy Stevenson helps us make the most of the virtual conference.

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

Writers of historical fiction must always ride the line between factual and fictitious. Here, author Terry Roberts discusses how to navigate that line.