The Wine Curmudgeon has always enjoyed Gourmet magazine, and not just because it had good recipes. One of the most pleasant experiences I have had in my 20-some years of freelancing came when I sold a story to the magazine: The Not so Thin Man: Food and the Detective Novel. (The link is a bit iffy – my Web site is having technical problems.)
I mention this not to plug myself; the story is 10 years old. I mention it to wish the magazine a fond farewell. Its publisher, Conde Nast, announced today that it’s closing the book after 69 years, a victim of the recession that is gutting print media.
Freelancers always -- and I mean always – complain about editors, the editing process and anything that has to do with getting a story in print. To hear us tell it, there are three evils in the world, and magazine editors are first and second. I’m as bad as anyone, and I’ve got the whining to prove it.
But that didn’t happen with Gourmet. It paid promptly, and if the story got held for six months, at least the editors kept me apprised of what was going on. Most importantly, it’s a better story for the editing process. Few writers like to admit that editing can improve their work, because we’re perfect and our prose is untouchable. But the Gourmet editors were tops, using a sure hand and good sense. It was a fine story when I wrote it, and it is a great story now.
So long, Gourmet. You will be missed.