Campus Magazine a) How to become a regular columnist in a magazine?

Date posted: August 17, 2010


How to become a regular columnist in a magazine?

I get a lot of emails from aspiring writers and here is the best advice I can give them:

1) You have to be able to string a sentence that makes sense, put it in a paragraph that has logic, and add more paragraphs that simply flow to drive your idea home.

(Do not pretend to be someone else, do not try to be sophisticated if you are not, do not try to be funny if you can't be, and do not insist on writing if it is not your thing!)


2) Buy all the magazines out there that you think you can write for, read them from cover to cover, and exclude the ones that do not “sound like you” in terms of style or vision.


(As a writer, you should have a message, a cause, or a purpose for writing; each magazine also has a direction, a style, and a target audience. You should be on the same page with the magazine)


3) Scan the remaining magazines one more time and try to identify what they lack; what is it that they are not offering their readers?



(Do your homework!)

4) It is no use writing about the same topics or from the same perspective. Novelty is your key to being that columnist you aspire to become.



5) Make sure your chosen topic, your language, and your style are appealing to the readers of the magazine.



6) Avoid being a copycat … have your own print!


7) Always ask yourself what’s in it for them? Why would they give you space in their publication? What gap are you filling?


8) Prepare a few sample pieces and email them to the magazine. If you are emailing several magazines, do not email them all the same articles! Remember that they are different, their readers are different, and you should offer them something unique and different.


9) In the body of the email, introduce yourself, tell them what you have to offer, how it will make their publication better, and how keen you are on being a part of the team.


10) Address the email to the editor in chief or the managing editor – you can find their names on the first page of the magazine.

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