A few weeks ago I stepped out my front door to run a couple errands, checked my phone, and saw an email that froze me solid.
“After reading it and taking some time to consider it carefully, I’ve decided the article is not the right fit for [our] audience,” it read. Still stuck on my front porch, I frantically scanned the rest. An editor I was working with for the very first time, at an outlet I’d been excited to break into, was telling me the story I’d just filed had missed the mark so badly there was no point in giving me a second shot. They were simply offering me a kill fee and moving on.
In over a decade of freelancing, I’d only been offered two kill fees ever. Once, the entire website got shut down just after I’d filed. The other, the editor changed their mind on the angle so many times that the story had become moot by the time I finished my third rewrite.