contact us

Use the form on the right to contact me.



123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.


Need something written?

Filtering by Tag: viral sort of

Never Go Down the Writing-Jobs-on-Craigslist Alley Alone

Jacquelyn Bengfort

I use Craigslist. I buy things, occasionally; I sell things. I peruse "Missed Connections" from time to time because, well, I'm an anthropologist and interested in everything human, and find longing especially fascinating. And, like the proverbial moth, I'm drawn time and again to the flame that is "writing/editing jobs."

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 11.28.23 AMWhat a sucker.

There's no place more treacherous, I think, than the "writing/editing jobs" portion of Craiglist. (Caveat: "writing gigs" may in fact be worse.) Let me break it down for you. "writing/editing jobs" [sic] include the following sorts of posts:

  • requests for unpaid interns
  • people with "bestseller" ideas who want to split the "massive profits" after you've completed that pesky writing bit on spec
  • poorly-punctuated, all-caps invectives screaming "LETS MAKE MONEY TOGETHER" from unnamed "successful companies" or "high-powered consulting firms"
  • sundry likely scams I'm too lazy to confirm as verifiable scams (but I'm looking at you, "don't use the Craigslist email relay system" posters)
  • the occasional, apparently-legitimate seeker of a professional writer or editor

In short: a quagmire. A cesspool. A wretched hive of scam and villainy (see what I did there?).

By the time I drag myself away, I'm definitely a bit down, a bit blue, a bit defeated. And feel a bit dirty, not in a good way.

So...anybody looking for a writer?

The Quick Guide to Punctuation in Email: "Thanks" Edition

Jacquelyn Bengfort

I got an email yesterday. It looked like this:



[First Name redacted]

To which I responded (open-letter style, expecting, of course, that the sender will never see it)

on Twitter. (Three retweets AND one favorite? In my world, THIS IS BLOWING UP, PEOPLE, THIS IS VIRAL.)

But maybe you're asking yourself, "How do I send an email of acknowledgement and avoid giving the recipient heartburn and a lingering sense of self-doubt?"

Here's a handy guide. It all comes down to punctuation (and a little bit to capitalization, too).


See above.


You're in a hurry. You're a bit terse. You got my email. I get it.


In this instance, the best option, I think. I'm not usually a proponent of exclamation points, but here, it takes the edge off your message. You're in a hurry, but you're still happy to have heard from me.


"How unexpected! I think you've sent me something I need/want! But I'm not sure! But thanks!"  I suspect you've responded without reading. Hey man, it's cool. No bigs.


Here I just think you send a lot of emails from your phone, you sent this one from your computer, and autocorrect has made you a little lazy. You probably tried to double space for a period, too. Oh Apple, what you have done to us?


Have I done something to offend you?


You're eight. Or a unicorn.