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Writing for magazines

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Firstime Caller, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. I was wondering if people around here had advice on how to work your way into a staff writing job for a magazine. (I was thinking of different magazines that cater to sports that I'm interested in.) I know, I know, I'm hired ;D

    Seriously though, I was wondering if there were people in the magazine industry around here who would be nice enough to share some advice. Is it a matter of getting a job as an editorial assistant (often adversited with some clerical duties and the chance to occassionally write briefs) and working your way into a writing job from there? Also, are there really that often strictly writing jobs? I ask because I've heard before that a lot of articles for magazines are often writen by editors who have, well, editing duties as well - copy editing, fact checking, assigning stories to free-lancers, etc.

    I've been a staff writer at a newspaper and free-lanced for magazines, on a long-term basis for some of them. I've just never been able to get over the hump and land a staff writing job at a magazine.

    So I was just turning to the board for some advice on the best career path for trying to work one's way into magazines. Do you try to become a staff writer at a newspaper, establish contacts, become experienced at a specific beat and work one's way into magazines that way? Do you take a job as an editorial assitant and work your way up? Do you free-lance and just send out tons of resumes?

    For all the magazine writers out there, what's worked for you?
  2. lono

    lono Active Member

    I've done a fair amount of magazine writing over the years and most of the publications I've written for have staff editors and editorial assistants and free-lance writers and contributors. That's not universal, but it's not unusual, either.

    If you are successfully free-lancing for magazines now, talk to your editors and find out if they have full-time writers and ask them how you get on that track.

    If they tell you you're not good enough for a staff job, ask them to assess the weakness(es) in your game and what you need to do to get better.

    Also, since many magazines are parts of chains, ask them about opportunities with other titles within their organization. Your editor might be able to make a strong case for you at another magazine within the group and likely will know what, if any, openings exist.
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