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Aneya Fernando

Keija Minor, Editor-in-Chief of Brides on Her Jump From Law to Publishing

keija-minor2Keija Minor has come a long way from her initial career as a corporate lawyer. This D.C. native left the world of law around 2003 and took a major pay cut to start over again as a magazine intern. Her leap of faith paid off: she’s now the editor-in-chief of Brides.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Minor discusses her vision for Brides, being inspired by artistic director Anna Wintour and how she transitioned from law to publishing:

How did you make the move from corporate law to magazines?
There is literally a book called What Can You Do With a Law Degree? that was sticking out on a shelf at Barnes & Noble, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a sign!’ So I decided basically by the end of year two [of my job as a lawyer] that I needed to look for something else, and then it took a year to save a year’s worth of mortgage payments, with my theory being that I may be broke and not be able to eat, but I won’t be homeless. And I actually started taking [women's magazine] classes at Mediabistro. Once I made up my mind that that’s what I wanted to do, it was like this huge burden was lifted off my shoulders — I had five minutes of regret about two minutes after I left the firm.

To hear more from Minor, including what it’s like to be the first African American to hold a top position at Condé Nast, read: So What Do You Do, Keija Minor, Brides Editor-in-Chief?

This Freelance-friendly Lifestyle Pub Covers More Than Just the South

GardenandGun

Garden & Gun, as the name suggests, is not your average magazine. The bi-monthly Southern pub is focused on quality writing, beautiful photography and dynamic design.

The mag covers all aspects of Southern living — art, literature, food, architecture, design, music, gardens, hunting and even wildlife conservation. G&G pay its writers $1 a word and is 80 percent freelance written. If the thought of writing about the South sounds too limiting, deputy editor Dave Mezz explains that there is much more to the mag than that:

“We’re focused on the South, but we are a national magazine,” said Mezz. “We have readership that extends well beyond [this region], both coasts, all over the country and beyond.” Freelancers can [definitely] send a query on topics outside of the spectrum. One example might be a piece on Southern winemakers in California. “They’re not in the South, but they come from the South [and] they bring a certain sort of philosophy with them that’s rooted in their upbringing,” said Mezz.The pub also did a piece on a new fly fishing lodge in Montana. “That wasn’t particularly Southern, but it related to sporting… If it relates to one of our pillars, then even if it’s not in the South, it might be something our readers would be interested in,” explained Mezz.

To learn more about what kind of writing the pub is looking for, read: How To Pitch: Garden & Gun

– Aneya Fernando

The 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.

Bitch is Seeking Contemporary Feminist Voices

Bitch magazine

By focusing on gender issues and the media, Bitch acts as a tool-kit for all those who engage in social justice and feminist criticism (no, feminist is not another word for lesbian), and editors are looking for writers who can provide smart, thought-provoking commentary on pop culture.

With few staff writers to fill in the gaps, freelancers have more opportunities to land a byline. “We rely on freelancers to pitch us,” stressed editor-in-chief Kjerstin Johnson. “If we generate an idea in house, we may send a query to a group of established freelancers,” but she emphasizes that the Bitch team is hungry for solid stories with new angles.

For more details and editors’ contact info, read How To Pitch: Bitch.

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.

How to Write for The Atlantic

The AtlanticJournos with distinctive voices can land a byline at The Atlantic, part of America’s great literary legacies. The mag was founded by a lit lover’s dream team, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Over the years, the mag has broadened its editorial content to include politics, the economy and cultural trends, but the mainstay of the collective remains to be editorial impartiality. “One of our taglines is ‘we are no party of clique.’ That goes back to 1857 when we were founded,” said editor Scott Stossel, “that we would be unaffiliated with any specific ideological approach or political party. That remains the case today.”

With that in mind, freelancers are welcome to think creatively about current political and cultural issues. For pitching etiquette and editor’s contact info, read How To Pitch: The Atlantic.

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.

Connect with Parents at The Bump

The Bump

Journos covering anything related to parenthood can land a byline at The Bump, one-third of XO Group’s life stage publications (The Knot, The Nest). The pub, named a top women’s website by Forbes, is all about helping the blushing brides and grooms from The Knot prepare for the joyous roller coaster ride of pregnancy and babyhood.

“Our readers are very smart and they don’t want to be talked down to, so we may address similar topics as other magazines but our voice is very unique. It’s conversational, sometimes humorous, sometimes a little snarky or with a little attitude,” explained Elena Mauer, deputy editor of the site. “We don’t believe in TMI but we don’t sugarcoat things.”

With that in mind, freelancers are welcome to think creatively about all of the info new moms (and dads) need as they embark on parenthood. For pitching etiquette and editors’ contact info, read How To Pitch: The Bump.

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.

How to Write for Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping

At more than 125 years old, Good Housekeeping is one of those titles people recognize just because, even if they’ve never read an issue. At the top of 2013, the mag underwent an extreme makeover, complete with an updated logo and content revamp.

“We did a lot of research, and we wanted to make sure we were keeping pace with our readers’ lives. We wanted to give them more fun in the magazine,” explained executive editor Janet Soroto. “People are so stressed out now that they don’t want anyone telling them what they need to do.”

To achieve that, editors create an intentional mix of recipes, health stories, first-person narratives, articles, beauty advice, and weight loss and nutrition tips, much of it ripe for freelance pitching. For writers’ guidelines and editors’ info, read How to Pitch: Good Housekeeping.

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.

Bring Your Perspective to The Root

The Root screenshot“There is power in looking,” said bell hooks, in Black Looks: Race and Representation, back in 1992. She encouraged black women to develop a critical gaze toward the way they were represented in Hollywood films as a means to create  their own identities. Things have come a long way since then; the world now knows its first black president. However, that’s not saying that race and identity issues no longer exist.

At The Root, freelancers have the opportunity to join the discussion about topics affecting the black community today. The online publication, launched in 2008, covers the nation’s biggest news stories — with an African-American angle. “The idea was to bring smart, thoughtful pieces that bring a black perspective to the news of the day and reflect the conversations that black people are having,” explained Lauren Williams, deputy editor.

The  pub welcomes freelancers to share their stories and experiences, given that they provide a fresh and creative prespective.

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

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.