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Journalism 101

Cover Hollywood for Vibe

Do you cover the music beat? How about Hollywood? Or maybe you like tackling societal issues? Despite its tagline of “redefining hip-hop,” all these areas are ripe for pitches at Vibe.

If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of Hollywood, there’s a section of this mag that regularly highlights actors whether they’re in indie flicks or big name blockbusters. Just make sure your idea is ahead of the curve.

“Let us know about something we might not be up on,” said deputy editor Clover Hope. ”It should be something specific or niche, not the obvious choice.”

Get more details in How To Pitch: Vibe. [Subscription required]

Curve EIC: ‘We want people pitching from all over the world’

Curve, the leading lesbian lifestyle magazine, is undergoing a facelift to celebrate two decades of publication. But it’s not your average renovation: Editor-in-chief Merryn Johns is hoping to ramp up its readership, and thus the number of freelancers who land a byline in the mag.

“There are parts of the world and communities where we don’t have people, so we want people pitching from all over the world,” said Johns. “We want features. We want a great story.”

So if you’re able to filter your pitch through a lesbian lens and have the writing chops to deliver, the whole book is open to your ideas.

Get more information in How To Pitch: Curve. [subscription required]

Impress Men’s Health with Your Multimedia Skills

Men’s Health’s website is not only open to freelance pitches, but the pay rate is also on par with other big-name mags. If you can show off your shooting, writing and filming skills in a pitch, it’ll have a better chance of making the cut.

“The more things you can bring to the package, the more likely you are to get into Men’s Health,” said editor Peter Moore. Plus, you don’t have to be an industry insider to write for the mag (though it does help). Keeping up with new health studies and breaking science news will help you find ideas and impress the editors.

For more info on what to pitch, read How To Pitch: Men’s Health. [subscription required]

OC Register Editor: ‘I Don’t Do Digital Journalism’

To kick off a 12-week series designed to help the University of Oklahoma figure out the future direction of its various media outlets, the institution hosted Orange County Register metro deputy editor, local news Rob Curley (pictured) as a September 17 keynote speaker.

Per a report in student newspaper The Oklahoma Daily by campus editor Lindsey Ruta, Curley gave a lively and well-received speech:

For newspapers to connect with their readers they must learn to be playful and passionate, to be personal and practical and they must have porn — but not the naughty kind, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist told students Monday night…

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The Knot Wants Your Summer Wedding Stories

One of the ripest areas for freelance pitches at The Knot is the “Real Weddings” section. So, if you found yourself being dragged to yet another ceremony this summer, at least you can turn it into a feature byline worth up to $1/word. “We’re really interested in real couples’ stories,” said executive editor Rebecca Dolgin, “right down to the centerpieces and how they personalized the program.”

Besides pitching the national print mag, The Knot is also open to ideas for its regional pubs and website, which gets 3 million uniques a month. And if you want to avoid the slush pile, make sure to familiarize yourself with the community: “Their voice is really infused in our content across the platform,” said Dolgin.

Read more in How To Pitch: The Knot. [subscription required]

Advocate for the LGBT Community

The Advocate started out as a mimeographed newsletter, informing L.A. denizens of the latest LGBT happenings. Since then, it has grown into a glossy that boasts a heavily-trafficked website, which is a great place for new writers to start pitching.

Advocate.com garners a million uniques a month, and just like the print version, is always on the lookout for features, profiles, commentary and analysis that speak to the gay and lesbian community.

“We’re really the only magazine in the space. There are lesbian-specific publications, there are trans-specific publications, there are gay men-specific publications,” said editor-in-chief Matthew Breen, “but in terms of an LGBT magazine, we really don’t have competitors.”

Find out which sections editors need ideas for in How To Pitch: The Advocate. [subscription required]

Have Fun With Your Pitches for This Mag

Acquired by Meredith Corp. earlier this year, FamilyFun is undergoing a major redesign. But that doesn’t change its focus as the go-to source for fun ideas when it comes to parenting. You won’t find your typical nutrition advice here, but you will find “Fun Ways to Get Your Child to Eat Vegetables.”

Senior editor Debra Immergut is always on the lookout for new writers, especially for travel, tech/media, parties and food. She also warns freelancers not to get discouraged. In the past, pitches that didn’t initially make the cut were published up to two years later when the magazine was ready for them. “You never know when you might plant the seed of an idea that will eventually take root,” she said.

For more info on what to pitch, read How To Pitch: FamilyFun. [subscription required]

A Cultural Renaissance Looks South

Lindsay Bierman, editor-in-chief of Southern Living, says we’re in the midst of a southern renaissance that has brought sweet tea and red velvet ice cream to those above the Mason-Dixon Line. The lifestyle mag draws a wide readership from all over the country, and that goes for freelancers too. As long as your pitch has a southern connection, you could land a byline in the pub.

The magazine has recently undergone some slight changes, though it has been covering the same topics throughout its 56 years of history. “We’ve refined our look and honed our voice, and we’re continuing to make sure that we are staying true to our mission of being a true service book that has actionable content from cover to cover,” said Bierman. “It’s not just a dream book or an aspirational magazine.”

For more tips on what to pitch, check out How To Pitch: Southern Living. [subscription required]

This Mag is Looking for Food Writers

If you have some professional cooking experience, or a lot of food writing experience, Plate is looking for your take on grub. This trade magazine boasts a readership of professional chefs and highly educated foodies, but its glossy photos make it look like newsstand fare rather than your typical trade pub.

“We make sure to talk to industry leaders and up-and-coming chefs around the country, and make their exchange of information the focus of the magazine,” said editor Chandra Ram. “You won’t find holiday cooking or dining information here; you will find timely, fun and exciting food discussion by people who are passionate about food.”

For more information on what to pitch, read How To Pitch: Plate.

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Cal Poly Finally Finds Its Journalism Chair

After a two-year search, the Liberal Arts college of California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo has announced the selection of a new chair for the journalism department: Mary Glick.

Early on in her career, Glick worked as a reporter and editor for the Daily Star Progress in LaHabra. The Daily Report in Ontario, the Pasadena Star-News and Copley Los Angeles newspapers. From there, she migrated to the teaching ranks. From the San Luis Obispo Tribune report:

Glick’s background includes former associate director of the American Press Institute in Reston, Va., and former associate professor of journalism at the State University of New York at Oswego, where she was also founder and director of the Center for Community Journalism. Prior to her SUNY appointment, Glick taught journalism at California State University Long Beach.

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