If you want to write about parenting, it makes the most sense to pitch parenting magazines, right? The same logic suggests food writers target food magazines and travel writers try travel magazines. Not so, in my experience.
You see, parenting magazines may have heard every trick under the sun for getting your kids to brush their teeth, for example. But other magazines not specifically geared to parents may not. Here’s another example: I broke into Cooking Light a couple years back with several FOB pieces on such topics as Walk to School Day, TV Turnoff week, and braces for adults. Not what springs to mind immediately for a food magazine, right? (By the way, it drove a food writer friend of mine nuts that I broke in to Cooking Light with these topics and she, a food expert, could not.)
But lots of special-interest magazines have sections within them that are related to broader topics. Gardening and food magazines might be tough to break into if you’re writing about gardening or food because they have so many “expert” contributors. But publications targeted to seniors, business travelers, or Kiwanis members may not.
I suggest freelancers make it their mission to pick up some magazines they might not ordinarily read, say at the doctor’s office, library, or gym. Ask friends to pass along magazines they subscribe to. That’s how I discovered that Jungle, a magazine for MBA students, ran travel stories. My article on Costa Rica would have been nothing new to a travel magazine. But it worked for Jungle.
Abigail Green is a freelance writer in Baltimore, Md. Her articles and essays have appeared in such regional and national publications as Bride’s, Cooking Light, Health, and Baltimore magazine. She is currently at work on her first nonfiction book, a humorous guide to pregnancy and parenthood based on her blog, diaryofanewmom.blogspot.com.