Former freelance writer and mediabistro.com founder Laurel Touby needed a way to connect with magazine editors. She built a bridge that she and others would cross to reach them. It made her millionaire and helped writers land assignments.
From the New York Times:
“Ms. [Laurel] Touby has been accruing snarky (as well as grudgingly admiring) ink since she started a monthly series of networking parties for writers and editors at an East Village bar in the early 1990s.
The self-described “desperate freelancer” used to cold-call magazine editors, who were baffled by her intentions. “Who are you?” they would ask. “Who do you represent?” Then she would strong-arm them into attending her events, which she presided over wearing a brightly colored feather boa and two-tone glasses.
“I was a party dominatrix,” she will tell you, who herded shy young writers into groups and forced them to talk to one another. Lonely and single and still new to New York, Ms. Touby had this idea, she said, “that I could meet editors at The New Yorker and date one of them. I had multiple ulterior motives.”