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Donya Blaze

Score $1 a Word for a Feminist Feature

Despite numerous changes in ownership, Ms. has stayed true to its mission to “inform, inspire and empower” women. Founded in 1971, the mag was the first mainstream feminist publication and continues to “put a feminist lens on politics, culture, society and global issues,” said senior editor Michele Kort.

More than 80 percent of the mag is freelance-written, and proving yourself to the editors can mean future assignments — editors like to cultivate close relationships with proven writers. For example, a reporter in Albuquerque who had been covering the unsolved murders of local women for years recently penned a piece highlighting the fact that these women, who were often involved in prostitution and/or drugs, were not as valued as much as other women in society. A freelancer also pitched an interview with noted feminist writer bell hooks.

Got an idea you think is perfect for the mag? Find out how to break through in How To Pitch: Ms. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Land a Feature Byline in Women’s Adventure

Sixty percent of content Women’s Adventure is freelance-written and landing a byline isn’t just a one-time gig. “Being a small staff, we aim to build long-lasting relationships with freelancers so that the job of writing and editing is easier for all of us,” said assistant editor Jennifer Olson.

The pub, which underwent a redesign last year, targets active women of all ages who pursue a lifestyle of adventure. Whether it’s mountain climbing or base-jumping or health issues, tailoring your pitch towards the mag’s active audience will surely catch the editors’ eyes.

“Our goal is to authentically appeal to women who find solace and energy in the outdoors,” explained Olson.

Read more in How To Pitch: Women’s Adventure. [subscription required]

Get $2 a Word at Real Simple

O: The Oprah Magazine and More may target a similar demo, but no other pub can compare directly with Real Simple‘s content. With over 2 million readers, articles cater to women from their 20s to their 60s. “We cast a pretty wide net in terms of the areas that we cover, so each one of our beats could theoretically compete with a different magazine,” said deputy editor Noelle Howey, “and we also try to pitch as much of our content as possible to as broad a range of readers as possible.”

Therefore, your best bet is to make sure your pitch has an element of universality, while keeping in mind the pub’s editorial direction. “‘Real Simple’ is the defining characteristic of the magazine,” explained Howey. “We are a service magazine presenting solutions, and the idea is to take complicated concepts and simplify them for the reader.”

For more info, read How To Pitch: Real Simple. [subscription required]

Curve: ‘We want people pitching from all over the world’

Curve, the leading lesbian lifestyle magazine, is undergoing a facelift to celebrate two decades of publication. But it’s not your average renovation: Editor-in-chief Merryn Johns is hoping to ramp up its readership, and thus the number of freelancers who land a byline in the mag.

“There are parts of the world and communities where we don’t have people, so we want people pitching from all over the world,” said Johns. “We want features. We want a great story.”

So if you’re able to filter your pitch through a lesbian lens and have the writing chops to deliver, the whole book is open to your ideas.

Get more information in How To Pitch: Curve. [subscription required]

Former Nightline Producer on Key to Great Debate

Before becoming a producer for the Intelligence Squared debate series, Dana Wolfe spent 12 years at Nightline working under Ted Koppel. And she says that, whether booking experts to discuss the RNC and DNC or just the news of the day, the cable news shows have a lot to learn about creating a truly intelligent discourse.

“Today’s media are full of one-sided debates and partisan rants and name calling and punditry. We try to avoid all of that, both with our format and by bringing intelligence to both sides of these issues so the audience can make up their own minds,” said Wolfe. “We have a vote at the top of our evening asking, for example, ‘How do you feel about this proposition?’ Then the audience sits for a live, hour-and-45-minute debate and they hear both sides of the discussion. They hear one side pick apart the other’s side, but in a very thoughtful way that isn’t sound bites.”

Read the full interview in Hey, How’d You Go from Nightline to Intelligence Squared Debates, Dana Wolfe? [sub req'd]

HBO’s Veep Picks Up Three Emmy Nominations

Congratulations are in order for New York mag’s Frank Rich and the crew at HBO’s Veep. The send-up of Washington politics just picked up Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series,  Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series.

Rich is an executive producer for the show and by far one of the most likable Media Beat guests we’ve had, so we couldn’t think of a better person to get such an honor. Don’t believe me? Check out the video for yourself.

Part 2: Frank Rich Compares New York Times and New York Magazine
Part 3: Frank Rich on the ‘Great Theater’ of Politics and Pop Culture

Frank Rich on the ‘Great Theater’ of Politics and Pop Culture

In the final installment of this week’s Media Beat interview, Frank Rich, New York magazine columnist and executive producer of HBO’s Veep, discusses the meshing of politics and pop culture. Having covered Broadway for years, he says the nonstop spectacles, gaffes and minutiae that become “news” just make his job more fun.

“To watch [President Obama and Mitt Romney] grapple on the one hand with the changes in the news media [and] on one hand with the world of The Voice and American Idol, The Daily Show, and SNL, it’s fascinating,” Rich explained. “But people forget this didn’t used to be the case. It was considered a huge deal when Bill Clinton played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show 20 years ago. It’s a development that’s spiraling; it’s developing. It’s interesting to watch. It’s great theater.”

Watch the full video for Rich’s take on that supposed liberal media bias and to find out what he thinks the “real danger” in today’s news reporting is.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Part 1: Veep Executive Producer on DC: ‘Young People Jockeying for Power in Offices that Look Crummy’
Part 2: Frank Rich Compares New York Times and New York Magazine

Fresh Takes on Food Pay Big at Food Network

If you’re as crazy without your coffee (or doughnut, or chocolate covered strawberries, or oysters…) as CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller is, why not channel that obsession into a byline for Food Network Magazine?

The pub pays at least $1.50 per word and, although it isn’t easy to break into, editors there are always hungry for fresh takes on everything from food news to kitchen trends.

“We’re a hard pitch. I can probably count on one or two hands how many pitches we’ve accepted since we launched,” said deputy editor Tracy Saelinger. “That said, we welcome ideas from writers, but they just have to be newsy, quirky and fun. We get pitched lots of tired trends that feel like old news.”

Get more details in How To Pitch: Food Network Magazine.

ag_logo_medium.gifThis article is one of several mediabistro.com features exclusively available to AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, you can register for as little as $55 a year and get access to these articles, discounts on seminars and workshops, and more.

Tap Into Your Southern Roots for South

Moving to D.C. doesn’t have to mean forgetting where you came from. So, if you’ve still got a place in your heart for Southern traditions (hold the fried chicken stereotypes, please), you could land a byline in this regional pub.

South concentrates on highlighting remarkable Southerners and any brand new establishments and trends happening in the Creative Coast. (Think that Southern belle who’s influencing national politics, or that hip, new restaurateur from North Carolina who’s got the District buzzing.)

“The pub has an entire section dedicated to profiles on interesting Southern characters which definitely lends itself to outside ideas,” said managing editor Lauren Hunsberger. ”The characters, events, culture and stories are second to none and provide for some of the best reading in the world.”

For more on word count and which sections are open to freelancers, read How To Pitch: South.

Mikki Taylor: FLOTUS Brings ‘Sophistication’ to American Style

mediabistroTV bannerIn her new book Commander in Chic, Essence editor-at-large Mikki Taylor doles out fashion and beauty tips for the everyday woman based on examples from Michelle Obama.

“I love her clear cut assurance, the way she owns her style from within,” she explained in our Media Beat interview.

And one thing FLOTUS has done, according to Taylor, is inject a much needed sophistication into America’s dress code. Casual Fridays? No, thank you, she says.

“I think that we’re a little too relaxed. I think a relaxed nation creates other kinds of flexibilities that shouldn’t exist. Let’s treat each other with the respect and the honor that we are due, and so the subliminal things play into that. If we’re coming to work in sneakers, if we’re coming to work in ripped jeans and plaid shirts, who are we representing?”

Part 1:Mikki Taylor on Her 30 Years at Essence
Part 3: Mikki Taylor’s Advice for Magazine Editors: ‘Take the Leap Forward’

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