A view of my writing/editing past
From about 1997-2006 I made my living as an editor and writer in San Diego. Above are some of the magazines/newspapers I worked with during this time. What I did for the each is below:
As an editor:
I was the executive editor of D-Town 92101, a general interest weekly tabloid newspaper distributed throughout downtown San Diego. Putting this publication out once a week was a 24/7 passion, but I loved it. It was insanely well-received.
I was also the executive editor of Downtown—a four-color magazine all about downtown San Diego. A beautiful publication. Again, a crazy amount of round-the-clock work, but more than worth it. This publication, too, was extremely well-received.
(When I say these two publication were well-received I mean, among others, these sorts of indicators: Their pick-up rate was incredible; we distributed all 10,000 copies of each publication by noon on Thursday, and if you hadn't picked-up your copy by 4 p.m. that day, you weren't getting that week's issue. If you walked around downtown between noon and 4 on any Thursday, you saw everyone carrying copies of these publications. Another sure way to know you're doing something right with your magazine is when local and even national businesses line up to buy ads in it, as happened with both these publications. Businesses in downtown San Diego also wanted very much to be distribution points for both publications: everybody wanted a little stack of them next their cash register or right inside their front door. Also, from the get-go, for both publications, we had huge community response: letters to the editor, story pitches, invitations to public conversations about stuff we'd published. PR firms want to talk to us; clubs and bars and restaurants wanted to comp us; the best writers in town wanted to write for us. We were just . . . putting out hot publications; and you can't do that and not know you're doing it. It's a fun and exciting thing to do. If I didn't ultimately want to create work that was more enduring than any weekly or monthly publication can possibly be, I would have happily remained a magazine editor and writer for my whole career.)
I served SLAMM Music Magazine as its executive editor. SLAMM was a free bi-weekly music and entertainment mag distributed throughout San Diego. A San Diego institution. It was my editorship of SLAMM that led the San Diego Union-Tribune to hire me as one of the founding editors and primary writers for their then-new $4 million website, Sign-On San Diego.
During my year at Sign-on San Diego, I wrote and published about 35,000 words every single week. I also wrote a column on the website ("Cordials, Tonics and Zombies") that was the most-read regular feature on the site, doing about 40,000 views each week.
On Air magazine: I was the managing editor of this 4-color monthly magazine that went out to members of KPBS of San Diego, one of the oldest and largest public broadcasting stations in the country. It was an easy, well-paying gig that allowed me plenty of time to freelance for other publications in San Diego, most particularly for San Diego Magazine, the oldest city magazine in the country (as hard as I know that is to believe).
Decor & Style Magazine: I was brought on, as its executive editor, to save this venerable, fat, glossy, 4-color San Diego house magazine. So that's what I did, learning about bamboo flooring and SubZero refrigerators and how to build a wine cellar along the way.
Revolt in Style: The first San Diego publication for which I freelanced later made me its editor. Again, an institution in San Diego. I really enjoyed running this magazine, and was happy to keep it flourishing.
As a freelance writer:
Throughout the early part of my writing career I freelanced for what I think might be literally every publication in San Diego—including, but certainly not limited to—the ones in the picture above: San Diego Magazine, SLAMM, Revolt, and Night and Day, the weekly pull-out entertainment section of the San Diego Union Tribune. I also did extensive freelance writing for AOL's Digital City San Diego and Microsoft's Sidewalk San Diego.
As a short story writer: The bottom row of publications in the photo above are about one-third of the publications in which I have had short-stories published. Central Park is a quarterly literary magazine out of New York City which was then edited by Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues). Eve featured my story, "Billie's New Life," by placing it at the very front of the issue in which it appeared, and was kind enough to write me a letter telling me how much, and why, she so loved the story. That kind of thing is so encouraging when you're just starting out.