With an editorial admission policy almost as elite as its glitzy readership, this Miami-centric monthly isn’t the most accessible mag around for freelancers angling to break in. However, if you’ve got a few key qualities, your chances are better than most. Things to help tip the scales in your freelance favor include:
1) A South Beach-centric approach and an innate understanding of the affluent. Since Ocean Drive covers what managing editor Eric Newill describes as “the burgeoning nightlife, fashion and celebrity scene on South Beach,” it’s crucial that aspiring freelancers be tapped in enough there to not recycle the same old story ideas. “We cover our topics with a depth and intelligence that our readers appreciate, as well as a to-the-minute knowledge of places and trends supplied by our team of writers and editors,” Newill says. “Someone can potentially break in with a thorough knowledge of Miami or another topic we cover.” If those other topics touch upon the wants and needs of the well-to-do looking for the next new thing to drop their money on, all the better.
2) Knowledge within a specific subject area, of emerging players, or about outlying areas. According to Newill, sections most open to new writers include “the ‘Beach Patrol’ section, which profiles local up-and-coming personalities, and its sister section ‘Wild Palms,’ which does the same for Broward and Palm Beach counties. Typically, a word count is 250-300 words, as well as a sidebar featuring quick answers to personality-driven questions (likes, dislikes, etc.). Occasionally, a health/beauty-related short piece will be considered,” he says.
3) An ‘in.’ “Our food and luxury-retail/fashion coverage is covered well by a longstanding team of contributors,” says Newill. “However, again, if someone is bringing a new perspective or an inside track on a story, their pitch is considered.” Case in point: “We recently published an interview with Tina Brown by a writer who is not only a personal friend of Brown’s, but who also had dealt with her professionally.”
If you’re brave/local/looped in enough to dip a pitch into this Ocean, Newill prefers to receive queries via email, and points out that “clips are imperative for first-time freelancers.” Hit him at eric AT oceandrive DOT com if you think you’ve got what it takes.