Editor’s Choice – December 2019
By Seán Keenan
TPM – What grabs your attention in a query?
Seán – Evidence that you have an article that might be of use to my publication.
In my case, that means that you have a story to tell about ‘living’ overseas, rather than anything about how much fun it is to zipline in Borneo or eat fried toad in Guatemala.
I edit a publication that’s predominantly about the experience of living and retiring abroad, so articles which are obviously about some aspect of that will get my attention.
TPM – Name something that will send a query to the delete pile.
Seán – Any mention of ‘your blog.’ As in ‘I’ve been reading your blog and feel that I could write you a range of wonderful articles tailor-made to your audience…’, or ‘Hi, I’m an experienced freelance writer with published articles in [list of links follows] and I just bet I can provide you with awesome copy for your incredible blog…’
I understand that you have to send a lot of pitches out, but one aspect that you’re supposed to be demonstrating is that you can research and tailor your work to a specific audience.
Not even taking the time to figure out whether you’re pitching to a travel blog or an actual physical magazine, is a very effective way of showing that you don’t really care about the publication – just the fee.
About Seán Keenan—Seán is Managing Editor at International Living Magazine, where he keeps track of the host of Contributors, Correspondents, and Editors across the globe who file their reports on where to live, visit, and avoid. From time to time, he gets out on the road himself and has lived in Peru, Chile, Spain, Portugal, France, and his native Ireland. He’s served pints of Guinness in Santiago de Chile and sold souvenirs in the south of France. He’s taught graduate students the intricacies of Joycean narrative, and schoolchildren the peculiarities of the past perfect. He also makes a mean slow-cooked oxtail stew.
International Living is written from the real-world experiences of those living the dream—‘life in another country.’ Find writers guides for three writing opportunities at International Living HERE.