How to Write for Women's Magazines

Three Methods:Writing Great ArticlesFinding a JobBecoming a Freelancer

There are a lot of women's magazine that focus on different demographics of women. If you're already reading these magazines, you may already have ideas for writing great articles. However, there are a few steps to go through before you can publish an article. You'll need to come up with interesting ideas, submit queries to magazine editors, and write your article with the magazine's readers in mind.

Method 1
Writing Great Articles

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    Brainstorm ideas. Think of all the possibilities you could write about. What do you particularly have to offer? What interests you? Try free writing (where you write without stopping and without worrying about grammar, content, etc., for a short period of time—2-3 minutes, perhaps). You can make a list if that helps. You’ll just want a lot of room for possibilities, because your first idea might not be accepted.[1]
    • Draw on your personal experiences. Many magazines want to publish your life experiences. Do you have any experiences that you think would speak to people or shed light on a hot topic in politics or culture? Do you simply have a skill that not many people have (e.g. calligraphy)? Writing from experience is a great way to get your footing when writing for magazines.[2]
    • Try new things. Sometimes magazines like to publish listicles and reviews of products. When you try something new, keep notes about your experiences. This can be anything from a fancy meal to a new makeup product to a vacation spot you particularly enjoyed. Trying new things is fun and can give you lots of material for writing for women’s magazines.[3]
  2. 2
    Create a pitch. Most major magazines want a query or pitch rather than a submission of a manuscript. A pitch is simply a short summary of your idea (typically a paragraph or two). A lot of magazines will give specifics about what they want in a pitch, and what kinds of pieces they are currently accepting. Revise your query to match the vision of the magazine and their submission requirements.[4]
    • Edit query for grammar, conciseness, and clarity. If you want to write for the magazine, your query letter should demonstrate that you can write. Grammar errors and typos are an easy way for editors to cut down the slush pile, and so it’s in your best interest to make sure your query is error-free.[5]
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    Conduct research. Sometimes you will need to research possible topics, especially if they’ve been written about a lot recently. Research can also generate new ideas. People tend to think of research as going through dusty books or simply googling a topic, but you can also go out into your neighborhood to find information about new trends, new ideas, and new ways of doing things.[6]
    • If you’re looking into how to do something complicated, or writing about a complex political issue, you will need to do research.
    • You may even need to do research for some personal articles. You may need to check to see when things really happened (memories aren’t always trustworthy). Be prepared to use the resources at your disposal.[7]
    • Give credit to any sources you use. You don’t want to be accused of plagiarism when you write your first article for a magazine, so make sure to give credit to any sources you use. Different magazines will have different style guides on how to give credit. If your article appears online, this might mean simply linking relevant parts of the article to an online source.[8]
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    Write for the intended audience. To do this you will need to read women’s magazines. Most magazines would like you to be familiar with their magazine before you submit. If you’re a regular subscriber to a magazine you want to write for, then you should have no problem. If not, you should check out their most recent articles that are related to the ideas you have to get an idea of what they generally offer in terms of content, and what audience they’re aiming for.[9][10] Some magazines tell you upfront who their audience is, and others are a little more subtle. Either way, you’d do well to read their articles.[11]
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    Polish your article. You will need to edit carefully for grammar and style. Again, you’ll want to produce a good piece for the editors to work with--if your editors are spending all their time working through your grammar errors, your piece is not as likely to become the best it could be. Also remember to you’re your piece to match the style of the magazine.[12][13]

Method 2
Finding a Job

  1. 1
    Update your resume. You'll want to submit a resume with all relevant writing experience. If you’ve been publishing, include your pieces. If you’ve presented at a writing conference, include that. If you've done any work that is related to writing, make sure you feature it prominently on your resume.[14]
    • Complete any education requirements, as possible. Some writing positions require a degree in journalism or a related field. However, not all jobs require this, and if you establish your reputation as a good writer, you can sometimes get a job as a staff writer. Chances are though, you’ll need a lot more experience than you would if you had a bachelor’s degree in order to get a similar position.[15][16]
  2. 2
    Network. This can take some legwork, You can be on the lookout for alumni at the magazines you want to work for. This can help establish a tie early in the application process. If you've got a degree in journalism, you may want to reach out to previous professors. They often have contacts in the industry and could possibly be a reference for you. You'll also want to keep the following tips in mind:[17]
    • Make sure you follow up with every person you meet who might help you. Depending on what they've said or done, you may even want to send a thank you note or email.
    • You may need to use some tactical social media contact. For instance, you may want to get in touch via Twitter or Facebook. Cold calling on Facebook may not be the best idea, but people often Tweet people they don't know on Twitter. Run your Tweets by friends to make sure they're helping rather than hurting your job prospects.[18]
  3. 3
    Apply for jobs. Many mainstream magazines are part of a publishing family such as Hearst or Meredith. If they are, their employment links (usually found at the bottom of the page, or in the “Contact” section) will re-direct you to their parent company’s site for job listings. Editorial positions are often writing positions in mainstream magazines. However, there are staff writing positions for some magazines.[19]
    • When applying, you should follow the instructions in the job listing. This means following writing sample length instructions, as well as how to submit resumes, etc. Some companies will want attachments in pdf, while others might want the resume copied into an email. In any case, following instructions will make it look like you care about details.[20]
    • Write a carefully crafted and edited cover letter. Keep the magazine’s style in mind, but don’t write the cover letter as an article. Make sure you demonstrate clearly and specifically how you would be an asset to their magazine, and why their magazine would be a good fit for you. While it is good to be specific, don’t give every little detail you can think of. Keep the letter to under a page.[21]
    • Try an internship. If you’re not sure you’re ready for a writing job, you may want to try an internship. They can give you experience and college credit. Most writing internships do not pay, so you’ll need to think about that when you think of applying. If you’re in college and the internship is considered college credit, you may be able to get financial aid for while you’re interning.[22]
  4. 4
    Nail the interview. Interviewing for a job can be a stress-inducing experience, but there are ways to prepare to make sure you ace it. Dress for the job. You'll want to wear a nice suit or other professional wear. You'll want to remain calm, and practice beforehand with a friend or colleague. You'll also want to keep the following in mind:[23]
    • Bring your resume.
    • Be aware of competing women's magazines.
    • Keep up with current events.
    • Maintain an online presence (portfolio, social media accounts).
    • Have ideas and questions at the ready.
  5. 5
    Excel at your new job. To do this you'll need to get a sense of the office culture (unwritten social and professional rules, when people come in and leave, etc.). It can take some time to adjust, but it's best to watch others to see how it's done, or ask questions. When you're new, you can ask a lot of questions, because no one expects you to be an expert on the policies and culture of your new workplace. You should also use this time to start building relationships with your co-workers. This can help you transition smoothly into your new job and help you network for later opportunities.[24]

Method 3
Becoming a Freelancer

  1. 1
    Read submission guidelines. This is extremely important if you want your piece to be accepted. Oftentimes, if a writer neglects to look at a magazine’s submission guidelines, they will submit something that wastes both the writer’s time and the editor’s time. For instance, at Family Circle, they specifically state that they do not accept fiction or poetry, so if you submit a short story to them, you won’t be accepted, no matter how good your work.[25][26][27]
  2. 2
    Submit queries and pitches. It is important to read the guidelines for queries and pitches, as the guidelines vary from magazine to magazine. You may be eager to submit a your query to a slew of magazines, but you shouldn't rush, unless you are concerned about the timeliness of an article (something to do with politics or world events). Even then you should take the time to make sure the letter contains no typos or grammatical errors.[28] You should also keep in mind the following:
    • Be careful of simultaneous submissions with major magazines. A simultaneous submission is when you submit the same idea or piece simultaneously to different magazines. Each magazine will have a different policy on simultaneous submissions, so check their submission guidelines.[29] If you do submit simultaneous queries, make sure you submit in groups by tier. In other words, submit to your dream magazines first, wait a few weeks, and then submit to other publications.[30]
    • If you are accepted by a magazine and you have multiple submissions out, email the other places to withdraw your piece.[31]
  3. 3
    Confirm your assignment. You should wait until you’ve heard back to write the piece. While you can write the piece beforehand, if you don’t get accepted into the magazine you want, you may end up re-writing. However, you may end up making a ton of revisions anyway even you are accepted into your dream magazine. Waiting to write until you’ve heard back, though, will give you time to formulate new ideas and queries. You can focus on writing the article once you’re accepted.[32]
    • Accept rejection as a learning experience. While it is never fun to receive a rejection (or not to hear back at all), it can be a good time for reflection. Did your piece not fit well enough with the other content in the magazine? What might you do differently next time? It can also be beneficial to get a friend to look over your piece if you haven’t already to get a fresh perspective on it. It can also be a great time to develop your voice.[33]
  4. 4
    Submit your article on time. If you’re a well-known writer or a celebrity, you may be able to blow off deadlines without any consequences, but if you are a new writer, missing deadlines can spell trouble for your potential career. If you have a life crisis or get sick, and cannot meet the deadline, email your editor to let them know. Nothing is worse than letting a deadline go by without saying anything. Often the deadlines are there to make sure the magazine or content goes out on time.[34]
  5. 5
    Look for new opportunities. You can do this by keeping up with the latest trends and by reading the women's magazines to see what's happening. You'll want to check the submission sections frequently. Once you've established good relationships with editors, you may be able to contact them directly with a piece you think they might be interested in. You may even want to subscribe to a site like Duotrope, which collates information about different magazines and journals you can submit to. Though it has a literary focus, it also includes some mainstream women's magazines.[35]


  • Submit to magazines you read or subscribe to first.


  • Give credit to all sources.

Sources and Citations

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