Remember When? Article Queries Edition

I was clicking through the Freelance Writing Jobs web site reading articles and coming up with ideas for May’s editorial calendar when I came across this old blog post of mine: “There’s Rejection and Then There’s REJECTION!” I found myself giggling at a question “Is it just me or does it sting more when you’re rejected by hot key?” I was talking about the digital querying age and how rejection form letters are often a hot key away from delivering a swift, coarse “No.” I then got a little nostalgic about the good old days of querying.


  • Stocking up on stamps and heavy weight paper with matching envelopes for query letters?
  • Including a mandatory self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) only for the publication to put your rejection letter in their own stationary? Where’s my freakin’ stamp!
  • Stalking the mailman for responses while secretly holding the suspicion he was pocketing your queries? Now I just stalk him for checks.
  • Painstakingly folding each letter and clip sample in three perfect folds.
  • Contemplating paper and envelope color? Is ecru too daring?
  • Preparing clips to out?

While many queries are still sent the “old-fashioned” way, e-mail queries are the norm. There is still the same amount of painstaking research and preparation. You wonder if your Arial 12 font is too big and maybe your ideas would be better received in Helvetica 10. You still have to wait, though considering one to three months use to the average response time, one day to two weeks seems like a blip in time.

Freelance writing is still hard, but let’s face it, when queries went high tech our lives got easier. I also like to think we’ve gotten more productive – no more mailbox runs! So the next time you grumble about a canned, email response an hour after you’ve sent in a query, remember the time of 10th generation photocopies addressed to “INSERT NAME.”

What about you? What do you miss about paper queries?





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