Skip to main content

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 MagazineEsquire 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.



Image placeholder title
Image placeholder title
Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Having an Online Presence

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Having an Online Presence

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not having an online presence.

Shirlene Obuobi: On Writing From Experience

Shirlene Obuobi: On Writing From Experience

Physician, cartoonist, and author Shirlene Obuobi discusses the writerly advice that led to writing her new coming-of-age novel, On Rotation.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Kimo Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the kimo.

8 Things Writers Should Know About Tattoos

8 Things Writers Should Know About Tattoos

Tattoos and their artists can reveal interesting details about your characters and offer historical context. Here, author June Gervais shares 8 things writers should know about tattoos.

Tyler Moss | Reporting Through Lens of Social Justice

Writing Through the Lens of Social Justice

WD Editor-at-Large Tyler Moss makes the case for reporting on issues of social justice in freelance writing—no matter the topic in this article from the July/August 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave clues for people to find them.

Sharon Maas: On Books Finding the Right Time

Sharon Maas: On Books Finding the Right Time

Author Sharon Maas discusses the 20-year process of writing and publishing her new historical fiction novel, The Girl from Jonestown.

6 Steps to Becoming a Good Literary Citizen

6 Steps to Becoming a Good Literary Citizen

While the writing process may be an independent venture, the literary community at large is full of writers who need and want your support as much as you need and want theirs. Here, author Aileen Weintraub shares 6 steps in becoming a good literary citizen.

Daniel Paisner: On the Pursuit of a Creative Life

Daniel Paisner: On the Pursuit of a Creative Life

Journalist and author Daniel Paisner discusses the process of writing his new literary fiction novel, Balloon Dog.