Last week, in response to How to Get on a Press Trip, a reader asked, “How would you suggest meeting said editors in the first place?” This is a great question.
While developing a relationship with an editor is more difficult, finding an editor to work with can be at least intimidating — especially when you are a new writer — but they are plenty of them out there.
Here is are a few examples of tracking one, or many, down.
1. Check the mast head
Every print magazine will have one. It is the long list of everyone responsible for putting together the content of any publication. Remember the bigger the magazine the busier the editor will be. If you are new you may want to start out small or have something really exciting to offer.
2. Attend media events
There are dozens of travel (and every other kind of subject: cars, guns, restaurants, etc) media events in most days in major cities. All of the guests will be fellow writers and editors. Introduce yourself to everyone.
3. Internet organizations
Media Kitty and Travelwriters.com (as suggested by another TWL reader) are only a couple of good places to search for travel writing opportunities that lead to editors.
4. Find your niche
I am not one for niche writing, but there are many who say this is the best way to get ahead. When a writer becomes well-known in a specific field of expertise, editors will find her or him.
5. Network with other writers
As an editor, I have had some of my writers turn me on to some of their friends who also write. While there is a lot of competition out there, there are also some generous writers willing to help.
6. Submit, submit, submit
Send out your best writing often and ignore the rejections. I know it is hard, but a good editor will see quality in good writing, even if it is not an exact fit. Cream does rise to the top.
7. Beg and plead
When I first started out, I simply asked all of my friends if they new any editors and could I please get an introduction. I did get couple. I started writing shortly after.
Of course, this is only a partial list, and there are a number of other ways to track down an editor to introduce yourself.
A final note, I recommend not calling an editor directly. Most keep busy schedules with little time for a chat with a new writer. However, I do recommend calling the magazine to confirm the editors name and spelling for future queries and submissions.
It is also worth mentioning, because this article is in response to How to Get on a Press Trip, it is definitely poor form to ask for trips before a writer/editor relationship develops — even then it can be pretty sketchy.