E-zines that highlight everything from food and culture to environmental news are taking pitches, so check out the requirements for some inspiration. Who knows? Maybe you can make some extra cash by turning an I-can’t-believe-that-happened-t0-me experience into an essay.
Mona ZhangMona is Mediabistro's associate editor and social media coordinator. She previously interned there and wrote for 10,000 Words. She graduated from New York University with a degree in journalism and East Asian Studies. Before moving to NYC, she lived in Beijing, London, Madrid and (the suburbs of) Chicago.
After launching in 2000 through a partnership with Hearst, O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine has amassed a dozen ASME nods and won numerous accolades. Although it has some heavy newsstand competition, O‘s health editor Jihan Thompson said the pub differentiates itself in its service to readers: “[O] really has this positive, uplifting tone that I find is really the mission of the magazine.”
About half of the pub’s content is freelance written and, lucky for you enterprising scribes, the pub is now accepting pitches for many of its sections. Get details on what to pitch, plus contact info for editors in How To Pitch: O, The Oprah Magazine. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]
In the same year that music mags Blender and Giant folded, Vibe shuttered, as well. But, luckily for the iconic mag, it was snapped up by a private equity firm, and editor-in-chief Jermaine Hall was brought on to resurrect the pub. And resurrect it, he did.
In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Hall explains how the mag is winning again and gives advice to aspiring EICs.
“A lot of things that come with being editor-in-chief aren’t necessarily drilled down into the day-to-day tasks,” he said. “It’s a lot of schmoozing; it’s a lot of fixing relationships; it’s a lot of bartering; it’s a lot of people skills, I would say. It’s really going out there to be the ambassador of the brand on all levels.”
For more, read So What Do You Do, Jermaine Hall, Editor-in-Chief of Vibe?
This week brings the third part of our popular series, Personal Essay Markets. The first and second installments highlighted 30 pitchable personal essay markets, and the latest installment brings you 15 more.
Some of the featured outlets offer up to $2 a word for your first-person piece, so whether your reflecting on running for Runner’s World or on D.C. for Washingtonian, our guide can help you find the right pub for your musings.
Launched in May of 2012, Cosmopolitan for Latinas bills itself as “the spirit of Cosmo with a Latina sensibility and the Latina voice.” Although half of the pub is freelance-written, editors say they would love to receive more ideas. ”At this point, [I] haven’t received a ton of pitches,” said managing editor Jessica Rodriguez.
Anything with a unique angle will catch the editors’ eyes, and a good example from the latest issue is a piece called “I Won’t Date a Latin Guy.” “That’s an actual real topic that a lot of Latinas discuss, and it’s sort of an unspoken, but never really verbalized or articulated idea… We’re really trying to bring those issues to the table and really have an honest conversation about them,” said Rodriguez.
Last week, we brought you Part I of our popular series, Personal Essay Markets. This week brings Part II, which outlines more venues that love printing this unique and accessible style of writing. Essays dealing with everything from love and relationships to gardening and knitting can find a home at the right pub.
Be sure to come back for our final installment of the print markets in Part III, as well as our digital guide in Part IV.
It may be tough for journos to break into book-writing, but for Denene Millner, landing her first book deal in 1997 was “a total fluke.”
The journo wrote a feature story for the New York Daily News about how the relationship book The Rules wouldn’t work for black women and, by 3:00 p.m. that day, Millner had landed a book deal for that very subject. Since then, she’s penned 21 titles, including Steve Harvey‘s bestseller, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
“It opened doors for me for other projects, because when other celebrities are considering who should write their book, they’re going to see my representation and my reputation as a writer,” Millner told Mediabistro about the runaway hit. “You know, New York Times-bestselling writer and top-selling book of 2009 is a hell of a calling card. In some other ghostwriting projects, my name hasn’t even been on the spine or the title page, but I try my best to negotiate that so that somebody knows I wrote it besides my family. It opens a lot of doors for more work, which is kind of awesome. It’s all any writer can ask.”
No sections are off-limits to pitches at Canoe & Kayak, where 60 percent of the content is freelance written. Though the editors have a stable of writers they assign to, they are always on the lookout for new voices and ideas — just make sure they’re original.
“Please don’t come to us with an idea that we’ve heard before,” said editor Jeff Moag. “Don’t send us the same queries you send the Sunday Travel section. You’ve got to have an angle, and it’s got to pertain to canoeing and kayaking.” The editors themselves are canoe and kayak enthusiasts and take to the field as much as possible, deadline permitting.
“What is most personal is also the most universal,” said the Dutch writer Henri Nouwen. Perhaps that’s why such content is in demand by readers and editors alike.
In this update to one of our most popular series, we’ve gathered some of the top markets and listed them, including details on pay, word count, submission etiquette and insider tips from the editors themselves. We’ll cover even more markets in Part II and Part III, and will present an updated guide to digital outlets in Part IV.
Just in time for the upcoming premier of Vikings on the History Channel, Michael Hirst, the show’s writer and producer, talks about his writing process in the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? series.
“The key for me with historical characters is they’re interesting because they’re human beings,” he said. “A little bit of Hemingway goes a long way here, but journalists and writers should honestly look at their material and have a real interest, a real passion in what they want to write, and they should also have a lot of knowledge, as well. You don’t write police procedural stuff unless you really know that beat, but it’s ultimately not the procedure that makes the show work — it’s the people. The more real they are, the better.”