Although online news / magazine sites are updated constantly with new content, features in glossy magazines are planned months in advance. As a general rule, magazines such as Elle, Cosmopolitan and Glamour all work to a 3 month publication deadline. So for example, Christmas editions will be signed off around August / September.
This means if you’re looking to write for magazines you need to be organised!
Approaching Glossy Magazines
Finding out the deadlines is relatively easy. Often they will be on the magazine website so that potential advertisers can see when the creative has to be ready and submitted by. If the magazine uses freelance writers or accepts submissions then locating their media pack is a great way of finding out upcoming topics that they will be covering. You may not be able to submit for that particular issue but it will give you an understanding of what type of content they use.
If you take a look at the Hearst website http://www.hearst.com/magazines (which is the publishing house for Elle) all the magazines that fall under their umbrella are listed, with links directly to the individual website. Once on the website, scroll down to the bottom and look for Media Pack or Rate Card and the publication deadlines should be listed. You may need to register to access this information.
Local Business Magazines
If the big glossy magazines aren’t for you and you prefer a more local approach, many small business magazines often have a Forward Features section and welcome contributions from local businesses. They tend to work 6 weeks in advance allowing for print and distribution. They may publish them directly in the magazine, or you can contact the editor directly whose name can often be found on their website. A quick phone call will also confirm who you need to speaking and sending pitches to.
In the UK, Insider Media have several regional magazines that cover a vast range of topics and are worth approaching.
If you are considering writing for magazines then take a look at Publications Have Structure which breaks down the standard layout and sections for any magazines, and also gives you tips on how you can get a foot in the door.
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