FishbowlDC TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser GalleyCat SocialTimes

Mediabistro

Make the Band of Writers at Filter

Sometimes pitching feels like auditioning for a seat in the high school cafeteria. Only the popular kids get the good bylines, right?

Not true at Filter. These  editors at this L.A.-based glossy say all you have to do to break in is love good music and introduce yourself through email. Yep, that’s it.

“Be creative and show us who you are,” said Pat McGuire, the editor-in-chief. “You have to understand that there are so many people seeking similar positions that you have to make yourself stand out a little bit.”

McGuire added one piece of advice on getting your foot in Filter‘s door. “I have a sense of humor; everybody at Filter does. So entertain us. Make us remember you — without being unprofessional.”

To find out what to do once you have McGuire’s attention, check out How To Pitch: Filter.

Natasha Eubanks of The YBF Talks Blogging Success

Although the entertainment and gossip site Young, Black and Fabulous is reeling in 15 million hits a month, it had its humble start as a simple site on Blogger.

Back in 2005, Natasha Eubanks noticed major online outlets weren’t discussing African-American celebrities, so the former law student decided to take matters into her own hands and launch her own site.

“I didn’t make a penny off of anything because I didn’t have any readers. I didn’t see any money until two years, and I only saw a few dollars even then,” the blogstress said in mediabistro.com’s So What Do You Do?. ”But I saw [Google AdSense], and I think that kind of sparked it in me. I was like, wait a minute. There’s an ad platform? What does that mean? You can make money just by writing what you think? That’s insanity.”

For more on how The YBF became the go-t0 source for Black Hollywood gossip, and Eubank’s personal advice for aspiring bloggers, read the full interview here.

Develop, Write and Pitch for Reality TV

Mediabistro is offering a new class this spring: Writing for Reality Television.

How does one actually “write” for reality TV? As is now well known, unscripted TV relies heavily on writers and segment producers for everything from formatting and pitching to voice-overs and host intros.

Reality TV is a broad genre that includes totally scripted comedies, documentary style dramas, competitions and niche cultural curiosities. Knowing where the opportunities are and how you fit in is the first step to narrow down what you will write and who it is for.

Taught by Colleen Kluttz, who has worked in the story department for ABC’sThe Bachelor and Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey, the March 13-April 24 track will cover:

  • Structure and formatting for reality TV, from ½ hour to hour long shows
  • The importance of casting and character development
  • Editing reality and how to write storylines in post production
  • How to write for the type of show you want to make
  • How to turn your pitch into a sizzle reel

Read more

The Essence of the Perfect Pitch

To nab a byline, we writers toil over every word until a shining query letter is crafted, but, for Essence senior editor Tanisha Sykes, perfection simply means leaving no aspect of the article unanswered.

“The more detail you have, obviously the stronger the pitch comes off,” explained Sykes. ”So what’s the potential hed? What’s the potential working title and blurb? Tell us background for the story. Who are the key players, sources and/or statistics?”

Along with solid facts, Sykes said most importantly, “We really want to know why this story is unique to us and our reader.”

To find out specifics on word count, sections open to freelancers and how Sykes describes the quintessential Essence woman, read click here. [sub req'd]

Jackie Collins Gives a Glimpse Into the A-List

With 400 million copies sold worldwide, 27 New York Times bestsellers, and nine movies and mini-series based on her work, Jackie Collins has earned the title of the ultimate Hollywood insider.

“If you have never been to Hollywood and you’re going to write this expose on Hollywood, then it’s going to be a flop because you cannot fool the public — they know,” she said in our So What Do You Do interview. “They know that when I write the book, I’m not standing outside my mansion with my nose pressed against the glass trying to get in. I’ve already seen this, done that.”

The author sat with mediabistro.com and detailed her plans to self-publish one of her biggest titles and shared tips for aspiring novelists hoping to follow her path. Check out her full interview here.

Grammar Mistakes Almost Every Writer Makes

As writers, we strive for perfection: that pristine copy free of grammatical errors. But it doesn’t always come easy. So, we’ve rounded up the most common pitfalls that cause an editor to take a red pen to your piece — and possibly skip you for assignments.

Mistake No. 4? Overusing em dashes. “Too many in one article (or worse, paragraph) can have the opposite effect and actually cause the reader to disengage. It’s the equivalent of extra exclamation points or writing in all caps,” writes mediabistro.com contributor Kristen Fischer.

Find out six more egregious errors and how to avoid them in 7 Grammar and Copy Mistakes Almost Every Writer Makes. [subscription required]

Dwell Wants Authenticity in Home Design

The world of design can be intimidating to some, but Dwell‘s bi-coastal team of editors strives to show the field’s friendlier, welcoming side.

Dwell has always been about showing real people in real homes,” said editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron. “We don’t send stylists, and we don’t want people to create an artificial idea of how they live in their home.”

With its recent expansion, the pub is wide open to ambitious freelancers — and photographers. “We put a lot of resources behind how we tell our stories visually. So when we’re reviewing initial ideas, having good pics always helps,” Dameron said.

Think you can nail the mag’s voice? Read How To Pitch: Dwell for a full list of those editors accepting pitches. [sub req'd]

Do GOOD to Evoke Social Change

GOOD‘s mission is first and foremost, to do, well — good. The platform serves to help people learn about the world, live in it better, and accomplish what’s important to them.

So freelancers looking for a byline in the L.A.-based pub should embody ”pragmatic optimism” in their story ideas.  Tailor your pitch to be forward-thinking, creative, and solutions-oriented, said executive editor Ann Friedman.

“We want to pick apart trends and figure out where the opportunities are. We want to use personal stories to illuminate bigger issues. And we want to have fun.”

To find out what Friedman looks for in short, opinion-driven articles or longer reported features, check out How To Pitch: GOOD. [sub req'd]

Offer Healthy Lifestyle Queries to WeightWatchers

WeightWatchers isn’t solely focused on losing those extra pounds.

“The magazine is looking at weight loss through the lens of overall wellness, because weight loss isn’t just about food. It’s about what’s going on in your head, about fitness and your overall health,” said Nancy Gagliardi, VP and editorial director of Weight Watchers Publishing Group.

So freelancers should seek to provide readers with the latest news on weight and health, and motivate them to reach their wellness goals.

“We’re looking for something that’s innovative and fresh and shows you understand today’s woman and how she thinks about her health, weight and her body,” Gagliardi said. That means ideas like ”parking further in the parking lot or telling people to take the stairs instead of the elevator is not going to cut it.”

To learn more about pitch etiquette, word count, and how your personal WW story can make it into the pages, read How To Pitch: WeightWatchers Magazine. [sub req'd]

Send Penny Pinching Queries to All You

All You‘s new tagline, “Enjoy life for less,” sums up the mission of its editorial content: to focus on practical, realistic and affordable ideas for the average working mother strapped for time. So, to nab a byline at this glossy, bring new strategies fit for a cost-cutting diva — but make sure it fits the standards of every All You story.

“We put every article — whether a craft, recipe or exercise tip — to a strict test: Is it real? Is it practical and doable? Is the information actionable and valuable?” said executive editor Susan Spencer.

To find out which sections Spencer calls ”fertile areas for assignments,” check out How To Pitch: All You. [sub req'd]

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>