Before they were mainstays on countless bestseller lists, Maya Angelou, Terry McMillan and Alice Walker were all once featured in Essence. And, says editor-in-chief Constance C.R. White, the magazine is always looking to give the next big talent a shot at a byline as well.

“The first thing you think about is what are Black women thinking about. What’s important to Black women?” White explains in our latest Media Beat interview. “And that is really the crux of what we do at Essence and, therefore if you’re pitching us, that’s what you should be focused on too as a writer.”

You can also view this video on YouTube.

Part 2: Tuesday, we discuss the real deal behind that fashion director controversy.

Part 3: Wednesday, White explains how she’s growing Essence.com in the face of steep competition from entertainment blogs.