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How to Get Your Pitch to the Right Editor

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?

For tried and true tips from successful writers, read 7 Ways to Track Down a Magazine Editor.

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Write About D.C. Newlyweds for The Nest

“Happily ever after” is a phrase that most of us have written off as cliché, unrealistic and, most importantly, confined to the realms of Disney movies. However, the editors at The Nest believe that wedded bliss can indeed exist, and they’ve accumulated plenty of tips for new spouses into a print and digital magazine, book series and more.

New online pieces are published five times a day, so there’s a constant need for content. The topical areas are the same as the mag — food, décor, recipes, relationships, health, real estate — with more space to delve more deeply into each subject area.That’s a win for freelancers, who now have even more opportunities to help Nest readers reach the elusive happily ever after.

For pitching etiquette and editors’ contact info, read How To Pitch: The Nest.

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Travel Writers Wanted at Mariner

Although the primary goal of Mariner is to generate buzz for Holland America Line cruises, the magazine also aims to provide material on par with other consumer travel publications. ”Mariner engages Holland America Line’s premium and returning passengers with a mix of cruise line service information, alongside literate travel narrative, world-class photography and high-level design and production,” said editor-in-chief Chuck Thompson.

A lot of the magazine’s success, evidenced by several awards including the Custom Content Council’s Pearl Award for Best Overall Editorial in 2011, can be attributed to the the editors’ strong relationships with freelancers, who supply the vast majority of the magazine’s material. Thompson said that his team is looking for any material that inspires wanderlust. “Travel pieces need not be cruise-based; in fact, most are not. Rather, we publish destination-based travel stories with strong angles,” he explained.

For the whole story, including which sections are ripe for pitches, read How To Pitch: Mariner.

Nicholas Braun

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Writers Can Pitch Any Section at Journey

Journey is a bimonthly magazine that covers travel, both between states and international, in a manner that appeals to residents of Washington and other Northwestern states. With 75 percent of its content penned by freelancers, the pub is always looking for writers who can identify with the AAA publication’s readers.

“There are certain angles that make sense for a Northwestern audience and others that don’t,” explained editor-in-chief Rob Bhatt.

However, you don’t have to live out West to make the cut. Journey editors are also looking to beef up content about cool things to do beyond the Mississippi River, particularly on the East Coast and in the Southeast and Midwest. He also stressed that the publication likes destination pieces that don’t leave anyone out on the fun. ”We’re more of an experiential market than a luxury, high-end shopping audience,” he said.

For more details, read How To Pitch: Journey.

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to over 150 ”How To Pitch” articles, hundreds of articles on journalism and media jobs, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Cover LGBT Legislation at Instinct

Instinct, the bimonthly magazine for gay and bi-sexual men, is always on the hunt for quality content from freelance writers.

Editor-in-chief Jeff Katz told Mediabistro that he appreciates writing that has a casual but personal voice. “Our tone is approachable and fun. We want to say the things you’d hope your best friend would tell you, so we’re also a little bit sassy, sometimes a little provocative,” he added, “but we’re honest.”

Katz is also looking for stories that pertain to issues facing the LGBT community. “As gay rights change and people are getting married and adopting children, we want to continue to reflect those stories. In the upcoming issue, we’re doing a piece on finances to discuss how marriage laws play into power of attorney,” he said. “I don’t think that’s a story that would’ve been done 10 years ago, but it’s a nice change.”

The best part? 30 percent of all pitches are accepted. For more, read How to Pitch Instinct [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Nicholas Braun

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Freelancers Can Pitch Any Section at Cure

With almost half of its content provided by freelancers, Cure is accepting all pitches related to the research and treatment of cancer. The magazine is published quarterly and distributed freely to cancer patients and healthcare professionals.

So, what makes a successful pitch for Cure? Editors say they look for  ideas based on emerging research, commentary on current practices, or personal experience. Featured freelancers have also written about topics that are relevant to readers throughout the country, such as coping with the treatment process or advice on finding the appropriate doctor.

For more, read How to Pitch: Cure [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Nicholas Braun

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How to Make Your Writing Clips Stand Out

Nothing says more about your ability as a journalist than the content of your clips. The  published articles you submit to perspective employers can make or break your chances, and simply deciding which material to include can be a daunting challenge in itself. Fortunately, there are certain techniques that will help your writing portfolio stand out from the crowd.

Christy Karras, a veteran freelancer who has written for Time, Forbes Asia, and The New York Times told Mediabistro that she tends to choose stories she believes show off her writing and editing skills.

“That could be a deeply analytic magazine feature on the finances of a major city-state that shows my ability to digest complex information and write about it in an engaging way, it could be a news story on a crackdown in the Gulf that shows an editor how well sourced I am in an environment that might not be very friendly to journalists, or it could be a feature profile that I think displays some narrative chops,” she said. “It just depends on the message I’d like to get to the individual editor.”

For more, read 6 Tips for Submitting Freelance Writing Clips [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

– Nicholas Braun

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Pitch Features and More to Parent & Child

Parent & Child coverWith 60 percent of the content written by freelancers, Parent & Child is one of the rare pubs that accepts feature pitches from new writers. Bonus: it also pays up to $2 per word.

Nick Friedman, editor-in-chief, explained that his staff is looking for writers who can channel their personal experience  and speak to parents on a personal level. “We want to hear some bold ideas, and we want to know about human interest stories that all parents can relate to and that help provide solutions for families.”

Friedman also stressed that he wants the publication to have material that tackles issues and contemporary subjects through a fresh perspective. “We are not some stuffy, goody-goody parenting title,” he said.

For more, read How to Pitch: Parent & Child [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Nicholas Braun

Cover Politics and More at Uptown

Freelancers looking to reach successful and ambitious African-Americans can pitch any section of UPTOWN. Current editor-in chief Isoul Harris loves pieces that tap into black Hollywood, but he is also looking for material that will help beef up the bimonthly publication’s coverage of politics, as well as investigative and research articles that explore country-wide issues. “Especially with the re-election of Barack Obama, I think it really said a lot about this new America that we live in, and I want to the magazine to be reflective of that.” he said.

Although all of the printed content is eventually posted at uptownmagazine.com, editors are also looking for originaly, buzz-worthy articles for the website, as well.

For more, read How to Pitch: UPTOWN [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Nicholas Braun

Learn How to Build, Code, and Design Websites

If you asked us to recommend an important skill to have this year, website design would be near the top. Luckily, Mediabistro offers two courses with top-notch teachers that will help you achieve this skill.

HTML and CSSIn our HTML and CSS class starting January 22 online, instructor Laura Galbraith, an experienced web designer, will show you how to build or improve a website using coding (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS). By the end of class, you’ll have HTML5 experience as well as sample work. Spots are limited, so sign up soon.

 

Create Your Own Website Using WordPressYou can build an incredible website without coding experience. Join our Create Your Own Website Using WordPress class starting January 23 online. Instructor Sallie Goetsch has been building on WordPress since 2005. You’ll leave this class with a live website that you can maintain on your own. Spots are limited, so sign up soon.


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