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6 Ways to Track Down a Magazine Editor

Harness your inner Sherlock Holmes to get your pitch into the right hands

- June 24, 2013
Creating a winning magazine article idea and then articulating it into a knockout query letter is challenging enough for most writers, but all that hard work can be pointless if the pitch never reaches the right editor.

Let's look at a few common obstacles, shall we? The editor who once covered the column you're interested in has moved to a rival publication, but his name is still listed on his former pub's masthead. No. 2: You've found the right editor and know for a fact she still works at the pub, but her email address keeps bouncing back. Or, you call the magazine simply to ask who handles a section, but no one ever... answers... the... phone. Arggh! Why is it so hard to find an editor's contact information in the first place?

Jodi Helmer, a freelance writer based in North Carolina, says publications make it hard to contact them on purpose in order to weed out inexperienced wordsmiths; they only want their inboxes brimming with ideas from the very best writers. Furthermore, editors like to know that a journalist is a good enough reporter to find their elusive email addresses, because exploratory skills are an essential part of writing, she added. "It's this sort of test," Helmer said. "They just really want to make sure you kind of know your stuff and can find their email address before they give you entry into the club."

Want your pitch to land in the right hands? Follow these tried and true strategies to harness your inner Sherlock Holmes.

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