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Freelance Writing Question: How do I address an Editor?

When a Writer Doesn't Know an Editor's Name...

Question: When you're applying for a writing job and the ad gives you absolutely no clue about the company, the editor or who is actually receiving the application, how do you address the email or letter? For example, many writing and editing jobs on CraigsList.org don't give anything but an anonymous email.

Should I use "To whom it may concern?' in the salutation? It seems so formal and stilted. What do you suggest? Heidi

Answer: Hi Heidi, it can be frustrating can't it? The ideal, as you already know, is to address the person by their name and title. But sometimes there's no way to figure that out.

Like you, I find "to whom it may concern" just awful. Here's what I do:

If the posting is fairly informal, I'll just start my email with a simple "Hi." If, on the other hand, the posting looks like it's been turned out by an HR Department, or otherwise is more formal, I'll use "Gentle People."

If I'm writing an actual letter for snail mail, which I rarely do, I'll also use "Gentle People."

I have no idea where I got that salutation; I'm sure it isn't "correct," but it seems to work for me.

Anne Wayman, Freelance Writer and Ghostwriter

Question and Answer Index

If you have a question you'd like to see here, send an email to me at: anne@aboutfreelancewriting.com. Please, put Q&A in the subject line so it won't get lost. I don't promise to answer every question, but I'll consider it. Know too, that when you send a question, and I do decide to publish it, I reserve the right to edit for clarity, etc.



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