How to Write a Magazine Article Query Letter

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The magazine query letter is an elusive, but necessary part of the process to freelance for all magazines. The query letter hooks the editor, drawing him into the idea you have and gives information to help him decide whether or not to run the article and offer you an assignment.

  • Use a standard business letter format with your name and full contact information centered at the top. Then align left the rest of the letter. Your info should be followed with the date, editor's name and full magazine information, starting your query just below this. This letter should be written in Arial or Times New Roman and in a 12 pt. font size.

  • Start the first paragraph with a hook. The better the hook, the more likely the editor will finish reading the query. Start with a statistic or quote about your story idea. It needs to be compelling.

  • Wrap up the story pitch in the second paragraph with information on the experts you will use, the expected word count, whether or not pictures will be available upon request, the time line you anticipate and any other logistical information about the article.

  • Finish the query with the third paragraph noting any experience or expertise you have that pertains to the article. If the story pitch is on parenting and you have previously published parenting clips or other pertinent info, include those.

  • End with a simple sentence thanking the editor for her time and that you look forwarding to hearing back from her.

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