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How To Pitch

Southwest: The Magazine to Debut a Personal Essay Section in January

Southwest-The-Magazine-ArtiThe changes coming to Southwest: The Magazine won’t stop with its recent renaming. This January, Southwest, née Spirit magazine, plans to debut a new section featuring 1,500-word personal essays.

The subject matter for this section is open-ended, and more importantly, it will be open to pitches. Since the feature well is currently the only section open to receiving freelance pitches, the essay section will double the opportunities available to freelancers.

This department is a great chance to let your creative imagination run wild! [associate editor JK] Nickell is interested in stories that range “from parenthood to a childhood memory to something random that happened last week that we can bring some humor and emotion to.”

For more, including the type of pitch editors want to see, read: How To Pitch: Southwest: The Magazine

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.

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Profile Prominent Chicagoans for Michigan Avenue

Michigan-Ave-ArticleMichigan Avenue is a signifier for Chicago natives and tourists alike. As the street that houses the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park and the upscale shopping district known as the Magnificent Mile, it is a location that connotes culture and luxury. So, too, does the eponymous magazine, part of Niche Media’s portfolio of high-end regional glossies.

Since the magazine’s editor-in-chief, J.P. Anderson, relies on a cadre of regular freelancers for much of the magazine’s content, those who’ve never pitched the magazine really need to stand out. If you have the skills to snag an interview with and write a profile on one of Chicago’s notables, that’s what you’ll want to be pitching.

One section to focus on is “Talent Patrol,” a profile of an up-and-comer in any occupational field that ranges from 450 to 500 words. Anderson is also looking for fresh content for “A View from the Top,” a longer profile piece (800 to 900 words) about a Chicagoan who is an absolute pinnacle of his or her industry. For this piece, you’ll need to interview a CEO or company founder who has risen to the top and has lessons to share with others about how they got to where they are, and what about Chicago inspires them. “Native” is a section that runs 800 to 1,000 words and focuses on prominent Chicagoans who share some buzz-worthy news about their neighborhood or describe places in the city that have the most meaning for them.

For more, including the top three items editors want your pitch to cover, read: How To Pitch: Michigan Avenue

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.

Help AskMen.com’s Audience Through its Quarter-Life Crisis

AskMen-articleThe male 20-somethings that visit AskMen.com are trying to figure out their lives, and the site is there to help them answer a lot of questions on their journey.

“We’ve got a fairly even split between single and married guys, but most of them are in some sort of transitional state,” said [publisher and editor-in-chief James] Bassil, referring to changes in careers or relationships, among others. The common factor is these men tend to be engaged with shaping and re-shaping their lives. They’re often looking for new perspectives and are open to a wide range of topics.

For freelancers, whom the magazine relies on for a whopping 80 percent of content, this means an open laboratory of topics and ideas to experiment with. The 15-year-old site is particularly eager for stories that deliver career and personal finance advice, cover the latest technologies and developments in health or identify emerging trends and brands in fashion. It’s not a bad idea to think #slatepitch when emailing the site, as Bassil appreciates counterintuitive takes that bring something new to readers.

For more, including ways to make your pitch stand out, read: How To Pitch: AskMen.com

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.

Austin Way is a Great Home for Emerging Writers

Austin-Way-articleNewcomer Austin Way debuted in September and will end the year with two issues to show for its effort. Next year, the magazine plans to triple its output with six bimonthly issues — excellent news for freelancers, whom the small staff relies on for 60 to 70 percent of its content.

There is even better news for up-and-coming writers looking to plump up their portfolio; Editor-in-chief Kathy Blackwell is willing to take a chance on writers in the early stages of their careers.

“We really want strong writing,” said Blackwell. “I’m really looking for great writers but they don’t have to be established. I’m happy to work with new writers as well, especially on helping them with their voice and just helping them develop their skills.” Try to keep your clips reflective of the writing that’s in the magazine. If you have great clips but they aren’t relevant then just tell Blackwell about it — if she wants to see a sample, she’ll ask. She’s more interested in what you’re interested in and pitches that are clear and concise.

For more, including specifics on what to pitch, read: How To Pitch: Austin Way

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.

Think Like a Luxe-Life Scout for South Florida’s Ocean Drive

Ocean-Drive-articleIf Ocean Drive editor-in-chief Jared Shapiro isn’t sure of the age demographic of his magazine’s luxury-loving set, it’s because, as he puts it, “in Miami, you can be 23 or you can be 80 and [still] go to the clubs.” What he does know is that all but a piddling 1 percent of the mag’s readership have “liquid assets of $750,000 and up.”

What content interests those readers? Stories on places to burn through their money, for one:

The culture section is always in need of content. “Hottest Ticket” covers a big concert or play and generally runs 500 to 600 words. Pitch this if you know Fleetwood Mac or Justin Timberlake is coming to town; particularly if you can score an interview. The “Taste” section covers new restaurants, chefs, trends and more — most pieces average 450 words. “We’re starting to do a lot more sidebars, as so many restaurants and bars and stores and buildings are going up. So sometimes [the story] can be 1,000 words, plus a 500-word sidebar,” said Shapiro.

For more, including editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: Ocean Drive

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.

Think Local for Your Service Feature Pitches to Austin Monthly

Austin-monthly-articleAustin Monthly has come a long way from its days as a pamphlet distributed across Texas’ quirkiest city. Now a grown-up glossy, the magazine covers everything Austin with the breadth you’d expect from a general-interest regional magazine.

That range extends to its features, where freelancers can feel equally at home pitching service-oriented listicles and deeply reported, issues-oriented pieces. Whatever you choose to pitch, editor-in-chief Erin Quinn-Kong wants you to make your news hook clear.

Feature articles typically hover around the 2,250 to 2,500-word mark, and a great service piece will always get you noticed. Think “Best New Bars in the City” or the magazine’s annual “Fun Things to Do in the Summer” article. “Those are the list-y service pieces, and people just go nuts for those,” says Quinn-Kong. The features well also includes a “good-read” article that’s centered on a hot topic in the city (e.g. “The Face of AIDS in Austin”). It can also be a personal or business profile, such as a recent look into the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which is headquartered in Austin.

For more tips and editors’ contact information, read: How To Pitch: Austin Monthly

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.

Get Your Story Ideas Through Ebony’s Ample Pitch Box

Ebony-articleTopically speaking, nothing is off-limits when it comes to pitching Ebony, one of the oldest and few remaining print publications focusing on the black community.

What’s more important than what you pitch is how you pitch. The editors here appreciate short queries that show freelancers know the magazine well, including the particular section they are pitching. Bonus points if your pitch captures the interests of both genders:

Keep in mind, too, that Ebony’s content caters to both women and men. “I make sure that every story evokes the female and male perspective and mindset. We are a lifestyle publication in every aspect, from work to home to children to wellness. It’s about everything,” said [managing editor Wendy Wilson]. “I think we have an incredible opportunity to really focus on black men and no one else is paying attention to them.” Be inclusive in pitches because, ultimately, both guys and gals will be reading.

For more, including tips for specific sections, read: How To Pitch: Ebony

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.

Hemispheres is More Than Just a Travel Magazine

Hemispheres-articleIf you’re a regular consumer of our How To Pitch series, you’ve noticed whether the publication is niche or general interest, regional or national, the common thread of late has been that editors want pitches that center on a compelling narrative.

United Airlines’ in-flight mag Hemispheres is no different. Don’t think that because this magazine can be found on the back of your fellow passenger’s seat, rather than your mailbox, that the focus is on what to see and where to eat once the plane lands. If you want to stand out among the big names this magazine draws, make sure what you’re pitching promises to be a good read:

Considering Hemispheres‘ reach to more than 12 million fliers each month, the magazine’s broad focus is imperative, as is the commitment to journalistic excellence that has attracted big-name writers like David Carr, reporter/columnist for The New York Times, and Tom Chiarella, fiction editor of Esquire. In the end, though, it all comes down to the story. “We’re looking for great narratives that, yes, do have a strong sense of place,” adds [editor-in-chief  Jordan Heller]. “But first and foremost, [they] make for a great narrative.”

For more, including which sections are suited for on-spec submissions, read: How To Pitch: Hemispheres

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.

Get Your Pitch Accepted into NYMag.com’s Daily Roster of 150+ Posts

NYMag.com-articleNYMag.com, the online destination for New York magazine, covers news, culture, fashion and pyschology with the same witty, urbane voice that declared itself over four decades ago, epitomized by Tom Wolfe‘s legendary, novella-length “Radical Chic.”

There is no corner of NYMag.com closed to accepting a pitch, but to have a fair shot, you should heed the advice of deputy editor Jebediah Reed:

As a general rule, Reed suggested, “a freelance pitch should always bring something fresh to the table, something you have that other publications don’t and writers haven’t said or reported yet. Any pitch that does that, that brings something fresh and valuable and smart to the editor’s attention, is a good pitch.” Everything on the family of sites if pitchable and, with so many packages running at any given time, there’s a chance to not only be published, but also build a relationship with editors if your ideas are on point.

For more, including, which sections of the site are poised to expand, read: How To Pitch: NYMag.com

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.

Pitch Profiles and Photo Essays to New Lifestyle Magazine Oak Street

Oak-Street-articleMen’s clothing line Frank & Oak recently made a foray into the world of publishing with Oak Street magazine, whose 190-page introductory issue debuted this spring. The magazine both capitalizes on and reflects the interests of its global, creative, young professional base.

Freelancers are encouraged to pitch photo essays and FOB items as well as long-form features, which top out at 5,000 words. There’s good news for young writers trying to make a name for themselves:

[Editor-in-chief Ethan Song] said he welcomes pitches from writers of all experience levels. “We’re more interested in capturing the essence of a movement, and because younger writers are often living those movements, we enjoy hearing from them,” he explained.

For more, including the types of stories editors are on the lookout for, read How To Pitch: Oak Street 

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.

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