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How To Pitch

Pitch Poignant Personal Stories and Service Pieces to Brides

Brides-articleTurn wedding season into more than weekends spent at converted farmhouses and wages diverted to bridal registries and formal wear. If you can operate as both guest and reporter at these functions, you could have your piece make it to Brides’s “Real Weddings” section. Up your chances by pitching a story on a wedding whose bride and groom, or bride and bride, are underrepresented in the wedding magazine world.

Generally speaking, when pitching Condé Nast‘s 80-year-old bridal mag, you want to be different, but not too different:

Bottom line is your query will get a second look if it’s hitting on something that’s relatable and that you won’t find in every other bridal mag. Explained [executive editor Lauren Iannotti]: “It’s hard to find super new, fresh ideas that aren’t kooky and weird, and we’re challenged to do it all the time. So any fine reporter out there who can get that surprising service-y nugget that doesn’t come out of left field, that sort of feels real and great, we would love that.”

For more tips, including other sections ripe for pitching, read: How To Pitch: Brides

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Philadelphia Magazine’s Low Pitch Count Means Now is the Time to Get Noticed

Philly-Mag-Oct-2014-artFirst-timers pitching to regional glossy Philadelphia will want to start small, targeting their pitches to the front-of-book sections that have just recently been opened to freelancers. Build a relationship with the magazine, and you could find yourself writing the 4,000- to 5,000-word features that pique editors’ attention.

Your pitch should, of course, cover topics relevant to the city, but with a readership that includes older suburbanites as well as younger city dwellers, you have plenty of options for coverage, as long as your reported pieces can tell a story:

As far as advice for newbies pitching to the mag, [deputy editor Patrick Kerkstra] said that “The best way to sort of clear [the high bar] is to just come in with a story that’s so compelling that we just have to take a risk on you.”

For more, including details on the FOB revamp, read: How to Pitch: Philadelphia

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.

Outside Seeks Inspiring Adventure Stories With a Strong News Hook

Outside-Oct-2014-coverOutside, which was founded in 1977, has gone through plenty of reinventions. These days, the mag’s audience is 70 percent male and the pub targets not only those whose days typically involve black-diamond runs, but the city office worker as well, holed up in his cubicle as he saves vacation days for an epic outdoor adventure.

Best bets for Outside newbies are “Dispatches,” from the FOB and “Bodywork,” the magazine’s fitness section, which accepts news items as short as 100 words and reports as long as 1200. Whether you’re pitching stories on exploration, sports, fitness or the environment, make sure it’s timely:

Don’t pitch travel roundups without a news peg. “A pitch on the best hikes in the National Parks probably won’t get you far,” said [senior editor Abe Streep]. But travel news that leads to actionable service — say, a story on how the Grand Canyon’s new permitting system for rafters affects readers — is very welcome. News that leads to service is the ideal: new lodges, new technology, new training tools.

For more advice, including what to pitch to the website, read: How to Pitch: Outside

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.

Earn $1 a Word Writing for New Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Cadillac

Cadillac-Summer2014-wpWhat you don’t want to pitch to Cadillac Magazine are stories about Cadillacs. This new luxury magazine, launched in the spring of 2014, is geared to the lifestyles of the Cadillac-owning demographic. Ideas pitched to the magazine should be those that capture the imagination of its highly educated, progressive and creative audience.

Drew LimskyCadillac‘s editor-in-chief, accepts pitches for features and front-of-book items on a wide-ranging list of topics that include food, arts, film, design, technology and philanthropy. One thing the mag is really on the lookout for:

“We have a huge need for writers who can deliver interviews with people who are leaders in their fields — celebs, sports figures, highly accomplished people who have Wikipedia entries,” says Limsky.

For more information, including hooks that will catch Limsky’s eye, read: How to Pitch: Cadillac Magazine

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Sports Illustrated for Kids Seeks Stories on Young, Local Athletes

For sports writers looking to pitch to Sports Illustrated for Kids, their best bet at a byline might be finding a story in their own hometown. Instead of proposing a feature on a major league baseball player or big-name football star, freelancers should pitch the sports mag, whose target readers are boys ages 7 to 15, a profile of a star athlete on the local level.  Newly installed managing editor Mark Bechtel says:

If a freelancer says, ‘Hey, there’s a 13-year-old kid who is a great young basketball player, and he’s got some sort of charity that’s sending sports equipment to kids in under-developed areas’ — that’s something that we’re not going to know about [and would want to cover].

Freelancers should also send pitches to the mag’s digital component, SIKids.com. Online editor Dante Ciampaglia notes that the site is held to the same high standard of the print publication and wants stories that highlight “the fun side of sports as well as things like good sportsmanship.”

For more tips, including editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: Sports Illustrated for Kids.

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 Practical Advice to Scribes for The Writer

The-Writer-Article3The Writer has been instructing and inspiring readers since 1887. The mag covers the nuts-and-bolts of writing, with everything from how-to stories and reported articles to narrative essays.

The pub is 60 to 70 percent freelance written and editors want queries on concrete topics, by novice and experienced writers alike. Article length varies from 300 to 3,000 words, and there are plenty of regular features to choose from. These include:

• Breakthrough – First-person articles about a writer’s experience in “breaking through” to a market, which includes advice and lessons learned. This section runs about 700 words.
Freelance Success – Tips on the business of freelancing in about 1,000 words.
Writing Essentials – These articles cover the craft of writing. The section runs 800 words and should include a sidebar with resources.
How I Write – An interview with an author that contains a short bio and runs about 600 words.

To learn more about the mag, including editors’ contact details, read: How To Pitch: The Writer.

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.

New You Seeks Freelancers Who’ve Covered the Medical Beat

The mission of New You, a new lifestyle magazine for women that targets the often-underserved 35-and-up demographic, is “providing credible and accurate information on how to be relevant as you age,” says executive editor Ruchel Louis Coetzee.

The quarterly magazine is open to freelance pitches across all sections, but those freelancers who have written well-reported health pieces are especially of interest:

[Coetzee] notes that journalists who are familiar with medical terms and can provide writing samples of articles that focus on the medical subjects discussed in the publication (e.g. cancer, probiotics and stem cells) are encouraged to send pitches for the “Medical” department.

For more information on what New You editors want, read: How to Pitch: New You.

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.

Grandparents.com, a Lifestyle Site for the Baby-Boomer Generation

Grandparents.com is not the hub for people seeking advice on hearing aids and assisted-living facilities; it’s a site that caters to grandparents who are as young as 52, says editor-in-chief Ellen Breslau.

Freelancers will be pleased to hear that no section of the site is off limits to pitches. However, Breslau admits it’s “gotta be a ‘wow’ pitch,” as the site already has 15 regular contributors.

Breslau also warns against sending in pitches that deal with disciplining grandkids or how to get along with adult children. As for dos, Breslau says:

People should think in terms of modern-day grandparenting and aging. People are much more vibrant and active and healthy these days. They travel, and they have second and third careers. We are really speaking to that person.”

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Brain, Child, the Literary Mag for Mothers, Adds Poetry, Expanded Reviews Section

Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers launched in 2000 and has been lauded for its award-winning content. When editor-in-chief Marcelle Soviero took the helm in 2012, she said one of her goals was to keep the “major tenants of the magazine” in place. That is, she would continue to publish short stories, essays and features that offered a “cerebral experience” for its readers.

There have also been some recent changes that are providing new opportunities for freelancers, such as a forthcoming poetry section, for which Soviero is eager to find freelancers and established poets. In addition, a broader reviews section means writers should send pitches on books with a motherly, literary angle. Just make sure you have an understanding of the magazine. Soviero said:

Brain, Child doesn’t publish the typical how-tos and product reviews found in many service-oriented parenting magazines and websites. Pitches should have a literary quality. Perspectives should be parent-focused rather than child-centric.

For more on what the editors want, read: How to Pitch: Brain Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers.

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.

A Relaunched Good Seeks Multimedia Pieces With an Emphasis on the ‘Global Citizen’

It is rare to see a magazine return to print after stopping the presses, but Good has done just that, returning to magazine shelves in the last quarter of 2013.

Rather than focusing on chasing news stories, editorial director Joshua Neuman says that the magazine has a stronger interest in the idea of the “global citizen.” Since its relaunch, the magazine has become more open to pitches from freelancers for both its online and print components. In fact, the magazine is now comprised of 80 percent freelance content and Neuman says he accepts “as much as possible.”

Each issue is focused on a theme, such as urban sustainability or waste, so it would be in writers’ best interest to pitch accordingly and provide supplementary content. Neuman says:

We are invested in telling stories across various multimedia platforms and exploring new ways of telling these stories. The multimedia content should be intrinsic to the story being pitched. Ultimately, a strong story or irresistible idea has the best chance of being accepted — no matter what medium or media.

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