How to Write a Query Letter

If you’ve been reading magazine or newspaper articles lately, and have gotten a few ideas for writing your own article, chances are you’ve been searching for a way to effectively get the attention of someone at the publication of your choice that can help get your article published. The most effective way to do this is by creating a query letter, which is a detailed (though not extensively long) letter to the editor of the publication explaining what you want your article to be about. Here are some things you should remember to definitely include in your query letter to make sure your request is considered.

First of all, be sure to mention in your query letter that you have read several issues of the publication, and have gotten a feel for the overall writing style that the editors are looking for. You should also pitch your article idea to the editors from the angle of submitting something new to the publication that is still in keeping with the style and content that the editors want.

Next, give a brief summary of the article you plan to write, and explain where you’ll be getting the information from for your article, since you’ll most likely have to do a little research. Give the editors definite reasons for why you chose the topic(s) that you did, and you can even explain briefly why these topics are of importance to you. Some publications require that you have a working first paragraph (an introductory paragraph for the article that is tentative) so that they can get a feel for the story and give you direction along the way.

Finally, include your credentials and be sure to mention your previous writing experience. This includes any magazines, newsletters, or newspapers that your work has been published in, as well as whether or not you have be academically instructed in the art of writing. If you don’t have a lot of experience, don’t worry; if your idea is good enough and you articulate yourself well, many publications will give your story a chance.

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