Freelancers: AHCJ’s 36 market guides can help you craft your pitches

Freelancers: AHCJ’s 36 market guides can help you craft your pitches

Photo by George Milton via pexels.

It’s that time again when I provide a snapshot of the latest market guides that have been added to The Freelance Center. There are three new ones: Philadelphia magazine, Nature and Men’s Health.

Each guide always includes an interview with at least one editor and usually their direct emails, which can sometimes be challenging to find on a publication’s website. Even when the publication wants writers to submit pitches through a web-based form, I recommend sending the editor a heads up and quick introduction.

Men’s Health pays freelancers $1 to $2 a word, depending on the amount of research and the number of interviews needed. Feature stories typically run between 2,000 and 3,000 words, while front-of-the-book stories are between 800 and 1,500.

The print magazine is published 10 times a year, and the website is updated frequently every day. Marty Munson, the health director, wants pitches for stories that are entertaining, inspiring and seem urgent. Features can be scoops, character-driven narratives or unique service packages. For freelancers who want to send a short pre-pitch, Munson said by all means. But she advises making sure the pre-pitch is not about a broad topic but a story idea.

Nature pays competitive rates for features that generally are 2,500 to 3,000 words long and for news stories between 800 and 1,200 words. Features run in both the weekly print magazine and on the digital platform. About two features are published weekly, and two or three news stories are added to the website daily. Pitches should be no more than five paragraphs and should explain the story, why it is important to tell now and how it will be told.

 Feature articles can be analytical stories, profiles, narratives, graphics- or picture-led stories and stories based on polls and surveys. Pitches for news stories should be shorter, maxing out at three paragraphs. Suggestions for news stories about a single journal article are welcome. The news staff is small and may not get to an important journal article, said Lauren Wolf, bureau chief for the Americas.

Philadelphia pays $1 per word for feature stories for the monthly print magazine. Freelancers are rarely used for online articles. Brad Pearson, features editor, said an issue of the magazine typically runs four features, each running more than 3,000 words. 

Health journalists should focus on pitching a profile of someone in the news, perhaps a researcher or inventor, or an investigative or trend piece related to health news. The article needs to have a focus on the Philadelphia area. Pearson wants a three or four paragraph pitch that tells him what the story is about and who the characters are. He does not welcome pre-pitches. He promises to respond to every pitch, and lead times from acceptance to publication can be many months.

As always, please contact me at [email protected] with suggestions for future market guides.

Leave a Reply