I am about to send my first query letter (or letters) to the editor of an American niche magazine about German culture. Being that I now live in German-speaking Switzerland, I have several ideas for articles that I believe may be of interest to the editor.
Unfortunately, I am not quite sure how to pitch my stories. Do you suggest I send a separate query for each idea, or one long query with all of my ideas?
Since it would be the first time I write for this magazine, or any magazine for that matter, should I instead send a completed manuscript for one of my ideas, and hold off on the other ideas? Please help!
A San Diego native living in the heart of Europe
Switzerland! They have snow and cold there, don’t they? I’ll wave or come visit in summer 😉
Since you don’t have any magazine credits your best bet is to write one or two articles ‘on spec’ and submit them as completed manuscripts.
In your brief cover letter state the article is being submitted ‘over the transom’ which simply means on speculation and that you don’t (yet) have any contacts there. You might include in that letter one or two additional ideas just to show you’re flexible.
Be sure you enclose an SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) unless their website says you can submit online.
When I was writing for magazines I’d often say something like enclosed is a copy because I wanted submit to other magazines at the same time – the dreaded simultaneous submissions. Magazine editors always say they don’t want you to do that, but unless they are willing to pay me for an option on my work, I ignore that particular stipulation.
Will you be writing in English or German?
Good luck, and let us know what happens.
Image from http://www.sxc.hu