and welcome to the three-evening-long magazine-editing seminar I will be leading from 6-8pm on October 13, 20, and 27. What I will be trying to give you a sense of is what it is like to edit a general-interest magazine in this day and age -- what I do, what my priorities are, what my day is like, how I reach decisions, and so on. Each of our three evenings together will be organized not as a lecture by me but as a meeting we are attending together that I will lead, and each of these meetings corresponds to a meeting I hold regularly at the magazine.
On the evening of October 13, we will have an ideas meeting. I will talk a little about the New York Times Magazine in general, what sort of ideas work for us and don't, and how we go about both generating ideas and matching them with writers. Then we will get down to work.
I expect each person attending the seminar to arrive the evening of the 13th with one big idea, drawn from a newspaper article of some sort that appeared in the Times in the previous week. I want this idea to be for a long (8,000-word+) reported story. This can be a narrative or an investigation or a profile, but it should be a story substantial enough to be a cover story in the Times Magazine. Given when our meeting is taking place, it might be interesting, for example, to think about what would make a good post-election political story that could begin to be reported now, and run in December or January. Whatever the idea, please be prepared to really sell it at the meeting -- to be able to convey WHY it is an important story, WHY it is a story to do NOW, and WHO should report and write it.
On the evening of the 20th, we will discuss two manuscripts I will get to you in the next week or so.
In our final get together, on the 27th, we will have a strategic planning meeting, at which we will discuss ideas for taking the magazine into the 21st Century, and what the place of a magazine like the Times Magazine is in a multi-platform, social-media world.
I look forward to meeting you all and having some lively conversations.
Class readings can be found here.
Gerald Marzorati, editor of The New York Times Magazine and assistant managing editor for new media products, will hold a workshop analyzing manuscript drafts.
All events are open to the public unless otherwise specified.