How to Pitch to a Fashion Magazine
By: Lauryn Jiles
Are you a freelance writer looking to gain more experience? Ever wondered how writers manage to get published in huge mastheads like Essence, Teen Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, and other well-known fashion publications? While it may seem complicated, getting published in reputable magazines is actually more simple than some may think. So if you’re looking for a side gig that makes good money, then pitching to and writing for publications is a great option! Here are a few steps to ensuring that your pitch or idea will be chosen for major publications.
Contact the right editor
Making sure you are contacting the right editor for your pitch is one of the most important key points to remember! Don’t just contact any editor for your pitch. For example, if you’re pitching a beauty article, contact the beauty editor and if you’re writing a fashion piece, contact the fashion editor.
To find contact information for the editor you want to pitch, look up the publication’s masthead. If the masthead does not list the editor’s names and/or work emails, then go to the publication’s company page on Linkedin and use the site’s filters to search for editors at the company. Searching on Twitter and Instagram can also help, as a lot of editors will put their work email in their bio.
- If you want to pitch to a Conde Nast publication (Vogue, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Allure, etc.), editor email formats are usually email@example.com.
- For Hearst publications (Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Seventeen, etc.) editor email formats are usually firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For Essence, editor email formats are usually the initial of their first name and their last name @essence.com.
Have a solid pitch
Having a solid pitch is key to getting published in a major publication. Make sure that your pitch is relevant, fits well on their website, and is something that you think their readers would be intrigued in. Different publications require different articles. Some may focus more on trends, while others may focus more on fashion news or celebrity style. Take some time to read the articles on each publication’s website to familiarize yourself with their content and get an idea of what you’d like to pitch.
Keep it short and sweet
Keep your pitches short and straight to the point. Editors are very busy and do not have the time to read multiple paragraphs. Introduce yourself, tell the editor what your pitch is and give a brief description of what you plan on including the article. Do not give away too much information about what you want to include in the article. Just give them a general idea of what the article is about. Also, do not send them an entire article as a pitch. They will most likely not have the time to read it, and if they do not accept it then you’ve basically written an entire article for nothing.
Some publications may also have guidelines that they want their writers to follow, so it’s best not to send them an entire article until your pitch has been approved and follows the correct guidelines for the publication. If you want to pitch an article highlighting trends, style, or anything relevant, feel free to include a few photos of what you want to highlight in your email if you want the editor to get more of a visual perspective of your pitch.
Address editors by their name and always be professional
While this tip may sound like common sense, in a digital age sometimes it’s easy to forget these things. Make sure you are addressing the editor by their name, meaning you are putting, Dear Mr. or Mrs. Last Name. If you are unsure of the editor’s pronouns, then address them by their first and last name. Make sure you sound professional in your email and that you are putting the correct name of the publication in your email. Always sign off with “Sincerely, your name” at the end of the email. You can also choose to include a writing sample or two at the end of your in case the editor wants to view your work. Double-check your spelling and grammar before hitting send.
Oftentimes, editors’ inboxes are flooded with pitches and their own work assignments, so they may miss your original email. After a few days of no response, send them a follow-up asking if they received your email and reiterate why you think your pitch would be great for the publication. I’d suggest only following up once or twice, as you don’t want to constantly have to follow up about your pitch.
Don’t get discouraged if they reject your pitch
Last but not least, do not get discouraged if your pitch is rejected. You will probably hear many no’s before receiving a yes. If your pitch is rejected, make sure to respond to the editor thanking them for getting back to you. Keep trying and don’t give up! Try coming up with more pitches to send into publications, and eventually, someone will like your idea and want you to write for them! Stay positive! If you get rejected by one publication, try pitching that same idea to another one. Sometimes pitches are a better fit for other publications.
If you’d like to pitch a story for Madame Blue, click here for details.