Writing for a glossy magazine seems a little out of your reach. It could never be possible, could it? But it is. If you are an idea-generator, a talented writer, and have persistence, you can absolutely write for magazines. Want to know how to get started? Read on!
- Identify your favorite magazine.
- Write down what it is that you love about this magazine. Is it the stories? The imagery? The ideas? The style?
- Next, identify any ideas or stories you might have that compare.
- Find the magazine’s Submission Guidelines and figure out where your ideas might work best. For instance, Sierra Magazine contains a variety of sections that I think some of my ideas match:
|Humorous ranger story||“Survive” (Humor, 200 words)|
|Working at Yellowstone National Park||“Trailhead” (first-person, 750 words)|
|Excursion to Alice Lake||“Trailhead”|
- Next, you’ve got to get started on your query. Big time magazines don’t want you sending attachments typically, nor do they want a full story. They want you to tell them a little about your idea and they’ll tell you whether or not they’re interested. Here’s how to do that:
- Begin with the editor’s name. Avoid “Dear Editor” at all costs!
- Pull them in with your first sentence. (My pitch began with: “Recently, while car camping at Gem Lake in Estes Park, Co., there was a knock at my window.” This makes the reader want to know what is going to happen next)
- Tell them the rest of your story in only a couple of sentences.
- Let them know where this piece belongs in their magazine and why readers will love it.
- Add why you’re the person to write this (you were there, you’re a published writer, etc.)
- Say whether you have pictures, and attach publications if you have any and ONLY if the submissions tell you to include them.