Dan Baum and the fine art of tweeting

Like many New Yorker readers, I’ve been a Dan Baum fan for many reasons, his brilliant New Orleans series among them. So I was sorry to hear that his contract hadn’t been extended last year–and more than amused when he began tweeting the story of his firing from the New Yorker recently.

Dan’s Twitter feed is here; his New Yorker tweets are collected on his website, here:

People often ask why I left the New Yorker. After all, I had a staff writer job. Isn’t that the best job in journalism? Yes.

Nobody leaves a New Yorker job voluntarily. I was fired. And over the next few days, I’ll tell that story here, in 140

Character chunks.

But the real eye-opener for me was this collection of pitches, done by Dan and his wife and collaborator, Margaret Knox.

These are some pitches for stories that were accepted.

And these are some pitches for stories that were rejected.

I wish I’d known about these during my brief stint in publishing–just to show writers how much work might go into a good manuscript synopsis/ proposal. It’s a rich archive, and Dan’s generosity in sharing these is remarkable.





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