How to Be a Success in the Exciting and Important World of Professional Journalism

As an incredibly successful professional journalist I believe it to be incumbent upon me to help younger, less experienced and unsuccessful journalists enter and thrive in the exciting world of news writing.

Your exciting, profitable journey into the sparkling golden bowels of writing down what people more important than you say starts by getting someone more successful, experienced and professional than yourself – someone like me – to allow you to work 60 hours a week for $20,000 a year with few or no benefits. And key in getting that to happen is the cover letter you send in with your resume.

It just so happens that I have hit on the magic formula for a successful cover letter and I believe I have a duty to share it with you. Use this cover letter as a template and you will soon be well on your way toward the 20 glacial years it will take for you to earn up to $40,000 per year to tell young, inexperienced, less successful journalists how to neuter exciting ideas, bury new stories in favor of stories already written by others and bring their individual voice into line with an industry-wide standard.

Remember: Editors have great senses of humor and are never sententious, self-righteous or possessed of an exaggerated sense of self-importance, so most importantly of all – have fun!

I envy you for the journey upon which you are about to embark.

November 29, 2004

John Spreadsheet

Managing Editor

Allegheny Weekly Flood Warden

909090 Pig Iron Boulevard

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Dear John: I understand you are looking for an decrepit, embittered, cynical writer, preferably surly, socially inept and soiled, whose contempt of the public is exceeded only by his disgust for his own profession, and are willing to pay him the kind of wages that would make San Jose in 1999 look like Appalachia in 1932. Voila! C’est moi. If Pittsburg is the kind of place where a man with so much squandered potential can fritter away his last few self-medicating months foisting outright lies on a credulous public before he bounces, pantless, off the corner of Wiener World into a lunchtime crowd of po-faced secretaries and stolid burgers, I’m your man.

Ha ha ha. I am funny.

No, seriously, I’m slender, pretty and have my whole life ahead of me. The coming years will be a sun-lit parade of joys experienced and lessons learned. Why not experience and learn them in Pittsburgh? In between my scrupulous and principled drive to inform the upright and optimistic inhabitants of a great land’s most lovely city (Paris on the Allegheny), I can launch my drive to remove the terminal “h” from the city’s name and enjoy the resulting day named in my honor. I think I have finally found a place to call home, and you have found a writer to call “Curt.”

You may start loving me today.

Very truly yours,
Curt Hopkins

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