"No amount of editing and polishing will have any appreciable effect on the flavour of how a man writes. It is the product of the quality of his emotion and perception; it is the ability to transfer these to paper which makes him a writer..." — Mystery writer Raymond Chandler in a 1947 letter, reprinted in the very interesting collection "Raymond Chandler Speaking" (1962).
"No journalist, man or woman, ever lived who was not prepared to write upon any given subject; but upon the editor rests the onus of finding out a person who has some acquaintance with the subject, else why should editors exist?" — The Epicure, quoted in The American Kitchen magazine, 1896.
Today (June 25) is the birthday of the wonderfully named Sumner Blossom, born in 1892. Blossom served as editor of Popular Science Monthly and then the American Magazine. At the latter he introduced a system in which fiction manuscripts were read with the author's name obscured so that famous writers and unknowns would both be judged solely on merit. Blossom died in 1977.
"That editors are constantly aloft looking for new writers to spout, is another fallacy. Why in the name of Waterman* or Remington should editors waste their energies looking for new writers when there are more than enough old and established writers to occupy the pages of every periodical in the country." —author and poet Edwin L. Sabin, writing in The Writer magazine, 1916.
(*Waterman is presumably a reference to the pen maker, Remington to the typewriter company.)
On this day (June 20) in 1929, newspapers reported that Boston police had barred Scribner's Magazine from that city's newsstands because of a supposedly salacious excerpt from Ernest Hemingway's new novel "A Farewell to Arms."
"A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor." — Ring W. Lardner, in his book "How to Write Short Stories" (1924).