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Breaking into magazines

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SonofGarySmith, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. SonofGarySmith

    SonofGarySmith New Member

    Sometimes I feel that in pursuing newspaper work from college onward instead of magazines, I made a horrible mistake.

    After a few years in the business, it is clear that in-depth, narrative writing is what I'm best at - and what I have the most interest in.

    Now, please understand that I'm not saying I'm "too good" for newspaper work. In fact, often, I don't think I'm good enough. Coaching staff changes blindside me when others on the beat caught wind of them months before. For some reason, even though I'm a decent people person, I always seem to find myself out of the loop when it comes to the scuttlebut and gossip on my beat.

    I'm just not cut out, long-term, to do that kind of nitty-gritty beat work.

    However, where I do outperform my colleagues is in taking on the multiple-source, even multiple-days, long-form feature.

    And I also understand that its place isn't really in newspapers, especially mid-sized or smaller ones. And my editor himself isn't exactly a huge fan, either. He likes hard news, hard news and more hard news. Which may, indeed, be the right approach.

    So now that I've made myself sound like a prima donna - How does one break into magazine work? Should I go to graduate school somewhere like NYU for a career restart? I know I should query some publications, but I wouldn't even know where to begin. Plus, if there are stories worth telling on my beat, I would owe it to my employer to write it for them, not an outside agent.

    I'm not married to only writing for sports magazines - in fact, I'd like to break away from that.

    Any thoughts? Experiences? Maybe alternative weeklies?

    Just give up?
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

  3. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I'd also vote for asking your dad.

  4. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    I'd look into men's magazines. I used to do it and it was easy work, great pay.
  5. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    Boooo. Beat me to it.

    Shouldn't your old man's name help you and can't he give you some suggestions?

    I am in no way connected to a magazine or the mag industry, but I'd say you send some clips and resumes out to places you are interested in working for, just as you would for any job. Also try to do some freelance work for some smaller mags in your area.
  6. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I think he's looking to write, not pose for pictures.


    (really sorry)
  7. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Make sure that you disable the alarm as soon as you get inside.
  8. GBNF

    GBNF Active Member

  9. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Good to see you're not married to sports magazines. There are a ton of opportunities in regional and city mags. My wife works for one and complains regularly about the lack of good freelancers (we don't live in a writer haven like NYC). If you can write and have the stomach for the pitch-a-story-and-wait dance, at first, you could eventually build up a good stable of clients and make decent coin.
  10. Mr. Magazine

    Mr. Magazine New Member

    Definitely, playthrough. City and regional mags in a lot of places run tons of ambitious narrative writing (and often have more space than national mags to present it), treat writers well, and are fertile ground for getting you noticed by bigger (again, national) magazines.
  11. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    Depending on what kind of men's magazine you had in mind, you must think I'm either fashion model material or sport a pornstar shlong. Thanks!
  12. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    Mrs. Editude freelances for a couple of magazines, and they are steady gigs. She had another series of assignments from a too-slow-to-pay rag, but that comes with the territory. You would be surprised how much specialty/regional magazines rely on outside contributors to write and edit.
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