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Posts Tagged ‘writer’

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?

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Mother Jones is on the Lookout for Fearless Reporters

MotherJonesMother Jones, the independent, nonprofit newsmagazine, has always been about holding those in power accountable for their actions. Since its inception in 1976, this fearless pub has done just that. Remember Mitt Romney’s infamous ‘47 percent‘ video? That was uncovered by David Corn, MoJo’s Washington D.C. bureau chief.

So how can freelancers get their foot in the door at this National Magazine Award-winning pub? Well, it helps to know what the editors are (and aren’t) looking for:

The mag prides itself on strong reporting, so those sending a query need to demonstrate the reporting opportunities and highlight any reporting that has already been done for the story. “I can’t emphasize the reporting bit enough,” explained [senior editor Nick Baumann]. Freelancers should also keep in mind that the editors will judge how well you write based on the pitch — so make sure you nail the voice of the piece in your query. “Just like you want to surprise the reader, you want to surprise us. Surprise the editors,” said Baumann.

To hear more about Mother Jones, including what mistakes to avoid when creating your submission, read: How To Pitch: Mother Jones.

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.

When To Decline A Job As A Freelancer

specializingSaying ‘no’ to any paying gig seems like a dumb idea, especially if you’re a strapped-for-cash freelancer. But there’s a method to this madness.

Veteran freelancers agree that in order to cultivate your career, you need to be choosy — to an extent. Obviously try not to turn down every opportunity you get. But do weed out what works and what doesn’t for your schedule and your career:

If the pay is too low, the amount of work too demanding or the subject is outside of your area of interest, don’t be afraid to say no. A former client connected me with a man who needed help getting his mystery novel published, and when I read his email it seemed that what he really needed was a literary agent. I could have given him advice, working as a sort of consultant. But he seemed a little too proud and inflexible, and I wasn’t sure I would enjoy working with someone like that. Additionally, this type of work wasn’t in line with the direction I wanted my career to follow, so I politely declined.

To hear more tips on how to enhance your writing career by narrowing your focus, read: Growing Your Writing Career By Becoming A Specialist.

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.