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10 Tips for Pitching Newspaper Food Sections

Score la carte writing assignments with these top 10 guidelines from newspaper food editors

By Samantha Melamed - January 5, 2010
The turbulence rippling across the newspaper industry has changed the landscape for freelancers in all departments. Newspaper food sections are no exception, so breaking in as a freelancer requires food writing expertise and a solid understanding of the marketplace.

In some cases, staff cutbacks have created opportunities for more freelance contributors to step in. But just as often, newspapers have cut freelance budgets first, redoubling the efforts of the few writers still on staff. (The Houston Chronicle and Sacramento Bee are among those keeping all food writing in-house). And, some papers once noted for extensive food sections now rely heavily on wire content, setting the bar for contributions even higher.

But there is hope. If you're looking to make your way into the food pages, you'll likely need to offer the one thing the wires cannot: Hyper-local pitches that dovetail perfectly with the section's needs. We spoke to several food editors to find out what they want and expect:...

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