Before You Query a Magazine

magazines on couch next to smartphone and coffee
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You have a perfect article idea, and you're ready to pitch it to that national glossy? Hold on! Learn how to best prepare to query a magazine effectively.

Be Ready to Sell Yourself

Gather together all the reasons, research and education that makes you the expert on this topic. You're going to have to sell yourself to this editor, along with your idea, so be prepared. For beginning writers, this may be as simple as summarizing life experience in the topic area.

That's ok!

Be Ready to Sell the Article

No pipe dreams here! Yes, it's a great idea, and yes, you're on fire, but have you really sat down and thought it out? Maybe made an outline? In order for you to sell this article to your targeted publication, you're going to have to have a thorough understanding of where it's going, how it's getting there, targeted tone and style and preferred reader outcome and goals.


Ready, aim, fire! Targeting a publication takes a lot of research. Did you know some editors won't even look at ideas from freelancers? Why waste your time? Use the publication's masthead and website to try to discern the origin of articles. Are the cited authors also staff writers? Or, instead of a guessing game, pick up an issue of the Writers Market and dive in!

Know the Form

Typing a passionate email won't work here! Be sure to read up on how to prepare the perfect query letter.