2017 Update: If you’re looking for more of my successful query letters, I gathered them all and published them. Get a copy of Magazine Queries That Worked.
When I meet people who are interested in writing for a living, especially for magazines, I stress that it’s a constant process. If you decide today you want to professionally write for magazines, that means you probably won’t get paid until about six months from now if your article idea is accepted. Every week you need to send queries out so that there’s always something in the pipeline.
For example, I pitched an article idea to America’s favorite beer magazine, Draft, on June 7, 2011. The editor responded and accepted the article topic on August 31, 2011. Tick, tock…that’s 2 1/2 months. The article was due in December and slated for their special Travel Issue.
This week on March 27, 2012 I received a check and a copy of the magazine featuring my article, which you can also read online here. Tick, tock…that’s 7 months after my query was approved and 9 1/2 months since I sent the original query email!
So, if you’re interested in writing for magazines: Do it now. What are you waiting for? Need an example of a query that worked for me? I’m including one below and you can read another one here.
Here’s the query that worked:
Dear Editor: (the real editor’s name was used here)
Sweden’s Ice Hotel made headlines in the 1990s. The bizarre seasonal structure attracts guests with the experience of staying in a hotel made completely of snow and ice. With the onset of climate change the hospitality industry is stepping ahead with floating hotels. If sea levels may rise, why not grow the wow-factor of hotels’ destination experiences?
Resembling a biodome, the Remistudio Ark Hotel is a luxury hospitality concept currently in the works. The floating structure will be heated by natural light and energized by wind turbines and solar energy. The hotel will also be tidal wave-resistant and completely safe from other natural disasters. Another developing concept by MORPHotel revolves around a luxury experience where the floating hotel changes shapes. Unlike a cruise ship where guests may suffer seasickness from rough seas, the MORPHotel has been designed to change its shape based on environmental conditions.
“Check In and Float On” will be approximately 350 words. It will deliver readers the latest floating hospitality concepts, what stage the development processes are in and what to expect from a floating hotel experience. The piece will feature insight from architects and hospitality professionals.
Interested in this piece for the ‘On Tap Life’ section in an upcoming issue of Draft? I am available to discuss your ideas and thoughts. I am a freelance writer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina who keeps a strong pulse on industry trends. My piece following the hospitality trend of night classes offered at hotels around the country appeared in GO last fall. My work has appeared and is forthcoming in GRIT and Blue Ridge Outdoors. You may view clips at www.taralynnegroth.com.
Let me know if you have any questions about this story idea; I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you in advance for your time.