Life Changingly Awesome Query Letters: Part 2: Rolling Stone Magazine - Writer's Digest

Life Changingly Awesome Query Letters: Part 2: Rolling Stone Magazine

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To: Jann Wenner
Editor of Rolling Stone Magazine

From: Kevin Alexander

Re: Query for Potential Profile

Dear Mr. Wenner,

If you were to find some sort of thermometer/pulse taking thing that could take the pulse of the entire YouTube generation, said thermometer would read "Emo". Then it would catch on fire and explode. Emo, Jann, is somewhat of a slang term derived from hardcore punk music and the subculture surrounding it. According to Wikipedia, it started in DC, but this is clearly a lie, as nothing has ever "started in DC". Anyway, it's characterized by tight jeans, bangs on dudes, Chuck Taylors, and baddish poetry centered around an "upper middle class teen life is pain" actually, maybe it did start in DC. But the kids, Janny, the kids love this sh*t. Or maybe they just "like" it, ironically. Honestly I'm not actually sure, these Facebook profiles are hard to parse. But anyway, of all the Emo bands in the Emo world, the band that best characterizes the downfalls, the upswings, and the mood altering effects of Ativan are a certain band from a certain North shore suburb of Chi-town: No, not Panic! At the Disco. Or Dave Coulier. Or Avril Lavigne. She's from Canada, I think. I'm talking, of course, about Fall Out Boy.

Now me myself, I'm a hip-hop guy, partially because I was obsessed with basketball as a wee one, but also because I envision myself as pretty damn "gangsta". I drive a 96 Ford Explorer, All Black, with smallish tires. I pay my credit card late, sometimes. I live in an apartment in the city without a concierge. Also, the air conditioning is spotty. Sh*t Jann, some people talk about it, I live it. But my point is this: despite my affinity for hip-hop, I'm willing to do a profile of Fall Out Boy. For you. Or as the Emo kids might say: 4 u:-).

I envision it like this: 4000 words, gonzo style journalism... I do some drugs on the way to meet Fall Out Boy's publicist, we get in a shouting match about the relevance of the cat on the last episode of Soprano's, I write about it. I meet the band at a semi-trendy brunch spot called Toast in Wicker Park, send back my egg white fritatta and order rye toast dry just to make a lot of crumbs, then write about it. I listen to their "From Under the Cork Tree" CD backwards while watching "The View" on mute and taking Ativan, and, wait, get this, I don't write about that. See, Jann? The key is keeping people on their toes. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that. You've probably met Boyz II Men.

But now comes the time in every query letter where the editor must make a decision. Should I trust this unknown person who comes to me and confesses to driving an SUV with smallish tires? Trust him enough to write about a semi-popular band that might not even be in the "Emo" category? Well, Jannifer, I've given you The Pledge, I've shown you The Turn, so now this is the point in the program where I reveal my Prestige: I almost worked for you. Kind of.

I, Jann, was a semi-finalist for your unsuccessful MTV reality program "I'm From Rolling Stone". You might have even watched and rejected the interview tape the casting directors made of me, probably right after the portion in which I was supposed to conduct an interview and asked each of them "about the first person they'd tongue kissed". Now, am I bitter about not being picked? Yes. But would I let that get in the way of this kick ass docu-drama-profile I'm about to write? Maybe. But would I be stupid enough to tell you that before I even got offered the contract? No f*cking way, no how.

It's your serve Janny. Either you hop aboard this "Emo" ship now, or watch it sail into the cultural sunlight, no doubt hurting the eyes of the Emo kids aboard who were trying to write poetry in the dark.

Sugar, We're Going Down Swingin',

Kevin Alexander

PS- If this isn't a fit for Rolling Stone, could you copy and paste it to one of your other mags. Like US Weekly or whatever? Just be sure and take out the Janns and insert whichever editor is applicable... I know how much editors hate that. Thankxxx.

PPS- Pictured Below: Boyz II Men, minutes before the regret of spending their entire advance on platinum encrusted sportcoats sinks in and Generation Emo posing for mom but, like, totally rejecting her premise.

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