Daniel Jones, the editor of the Times‘ “Modern Love” column, held a Facebook forum to answer frequently asked questions about the column. And most questions involved some iteration on tips for getting an essay about the way we love now published in the newspaper (and maybe even animated).
“As editor of Modern Love, I am constantly fielding questions about the column that I don’t have time to answer individually, though often these questions cover the same territory,” Mr. Jones posted on the Modern Love Facebook page. “So let’s try something. If it works, we’ll do it again. If it doesn’t, we won’t. If you don’t have a question but like the idea, then ‘like’ the post and I’ll have a better sense of whether it’s worthwhile.” So far, 245 people liked the post (making the exercise, we suppose, worthwhile).
The FAQ was billed as “Ask the Editor (Almost) Anything…” The almost referred to questions about specific stories. (For example, Mr. Jones instructed readers not to ask whether he would be interested in an essay about a fling with a cabaret singer. We imagine the answer would be yes, but we guess we won’t know until we see it).
Most of the questions dealt with general submission guidelines: how long does it take to get published after an essay is accepted, formating, word count, that sort of thing.
One reader wondered why so many stories are from “published authors.” The query was seconded by another reader and asked again later in the comments. The basic answer is that, although publication history is not considered, experienced writers are usually better writers, which means that they are more likely to be selected to run in the column. Life is so unfair!