The career of a features writer for magazines usually involves mining ideas, developing an idea to a full-length article, and looking for a suitable publication for his work.
And yet, the most important part of getting published in a magazine is pitching, or selling your ideas to magazine editors. Before an editor agrees to publish your article, you would have to convince him by writing a query letter.
Time and again freelance writers who contribute magazine features have found it tricky to compose the perfect query letter. Even the most seasoned freelance writers still get rejected occasionally.
Now, if you're just starting out, it's better to increase the chances of an editor reading your query and getting him to take action.
I recommend doing the following:
(1.) Remember that accuracy is key.
Be sure to address your query to the right person in the magazine's staff, which is either the managing or associate editor. To find out the name of the appropriate editor, turn to your target publication's editorial page, which is usually located among the first few pages of the magazine.
Regardless of whether you're planning to write a snail mail or email query, double check to see that you got the magazine's postal mail address and web site URL correctly.
(2.) Know what to include in your query letter.
If you're sending a query through snail mail, write your address and the date in the upper right-hand corner of your letter. And then, in the left-hand portion underneath the date, write the following:
Title of Publication
I'll mention the three remaining guidelines in my next post.