An Open Letter To Magazine Writers

As a freelance writer, I often find myself in the awkward position of having to pitch articles to magazines that have pretty strict standards. If you’ve ever had an idea rejected by one of these publications then you know exactly what I’m talking about! 

However, there’s no need to worry because there are some simple things every writer can do before submitting an article that will help ensure they get published. So without further ado let me share with you ten ways how to make sure your piece is accepted:

1. Embrace the power of storytelling in your magazine writing.
2. Always strive for authenticity and originality in your articles.
3. Build a strong support system and network within the writing community.
4. Be persistent and resilient in the face of rejection or criticism.
5. Continuously seek opportunities for growth and learning in your craft.

Be Honest About The Benefits Of Your Subject Matter

As a magazine writer, it’s your job, to be honest about the benefits of your subject matter. If you’re writing about fitness, show examples of fit people. If you’re writing about travel, show examples of people who are traveling. And if you’re writing about business, show examples of people who are running a business.

I understand that it can be tempting to gloss over such details to make your work more appealing but doing so will only lead to disappointment and confusion on the part of your readership.

Navigating the world of magazine writing can be daunting, but fear not! Our comprehensive guide on Magazine Writing 101: Things I Wish I Knew Two Years Ago shares valuable insights and tips to set you on the right path and avoid common pitfalls.

If You’re Writing About Fitness, Show Examples Of People Who Are Fit

When you’re writing about fitness, for example, don’t just talk about how great it is. Instead, show examples of fit people.

Show readers that fitness is possible

Show readers that fitness is fun

Show readers that fitness is rewarding

Show readers that fitness is healthy (even though we know this)

Don’t just tell them what they should do show them some examples of people doing it already! And don’t make these examples seem like outliers or exceptions to the rule. Show them as normal people with normal lives and normal bodies who have chosen to be healthy. This isn’t a one size fits all deal – everyone goes about it in their way!

Don’t Be Afraid To Write About Your Flaws

The world is full of experts, but few people know what they’re talking about. In your writing, you don’t have to pretend that you are an expert in everything it’s better if you don’t.

If you are honest about your flaws, other people will be more willing to listen to what you have to say and trust your opinion on the subject matter. People will respect the fact that you aren’t afraid of being wrong sometimes (or most of the time).

You can use this as a way to make yourself seem more human and relatable: “I am not perfect; I’m just like anyone else.”

Rejections are a part of every writer’s journey, but there are ways to minimize them. Discover 10 actionable tips for magazine writers to avoid rejection in our article on 10 Things Magazine Writers Can Do to Not Get Rejected.

Take A Look At Your “Ideal” Vacation

The first step to writing an article on your “ideal” vacation is to find a way to make it unique. If you’ve ever had the same dream about flying over beautiful mountains, there’s no reason why your travel article needs to be about that exact experience. You can take the idea of flying over mountains and turn it into something more creative and new.

For example, if you’re really into wildlife photography and you want to write an article about taking photos while traveling through Africa, think of ways that this kind of trip could be different than other trips people have taken before. 

Maybe there will be a lot more animals around because they know people aren’t hunting them anymore. Or maybe some of those animals are endangered species and so they’re not allowed anywhere near humans? These kinds of details will help set yours apart from everyone else’s work!

Don’t Be Lazy In Your Writing

Don’t use the same words over and over again. As a writer, you should be focused on providing value and adding to your reader’s experience. However, there is a fine line between adding value and being repetitive. If you find yourself going back to the same words over and over again, perhaps it’s time to expand your vocabulary.

Don’t use words that aren’t necessary. We all know how frustrating it can be when someone uses too many adjectives or adverbs in their writing it can make reading difficult at best, and completely confusing at worst! 

When writing magazine articles, try cutting out all of those unnecessary modifiers so that readers can focus on what matters: the topic at hand!

Don’t use words that are hard to understand (or understand). A lot of people think they’re smarter than they actually are and while there’s nothing wrong with having an advanced vocabulary (as long as everyone else understands what this means).

Sometimes writers tend toward using big words because they think it makes them sound more intelligent or educated than everyone else around them does. 

But this isn’t always true; sometimes these fancy-sounding phrases just make them sound pretentious instead of smart! Remember: it’s not about sounding smart; rather it’s all about conveying information clearly so that anyone who reads your piece will understand everything without having any trouble doing so.”

Master the art of captivating magazine writing with our collection of 15 Tips for Better Magazine Writing. From crafting compelling headlines to creating engaging content, these tips will elevate your writing game.

Avoid Being A Generalist

The number one way to become a better writer is by being specific. The best writers have a knack for being precise, whether they’re writing about what it’s like being a woman in the world today or how to build your death ray out of household items.

A great example of this is the work of Deborah Blum, author of two books about poisoners: Poisoner’s Handbook and Love at First Bite (which she co-authored with Michael Carroll). In these books, Blum tells us everything we could want to know about arsenic poisoning and mosquito control respectively. 

She doesn’t just tell us that somebody died from drinking milk; she tells us how much milk was consumed before death occurred, who drank it, and where they got it from. She doesn’t just mention that mosquitos carry malaria; she explains how mosquitoes were used as weapons during World War II. 

She goes into detail because she knows her audience needs those details to fully appreciate what happened and even then some people don’t believe her!

So if you’re thinking “I’m not sure I can write something so detailed,” let me encourage you: Yes you can! Just try focusing on making each sentence count instead of worrying about making every paragraph perfect (because nobody will ever read every paragraph anyway).

When you’re writing, follow the four rules of good writing.

Be clear: make sure your writing is easy to understand, without any ambiguous words or phrases

Be concise: don’t use more words than you need to get the point across.

Be relevant: focus on what’s important, and leave out anything that doesn’t contribute to the reader’s understanding of your topic.

Be consistent: stay true to your style throughout the piece. If you’re writing in a formal tone, avoid slipping into colloquial speech (e.g., “I am going shopping today”). 

If you are using informal language and slang, keep it consistent throughout (e.g., “I’m gonna go shopping later on”). Even if you are writing about different topics, be consistent with your choice of words; if one part reads as an essalikeand another part read like an email, readers will lose interest fast!

Be accurate: double-check everything before submitting it for publication make sure names are spelled correctly and dates are formatted properly (for example “4/20/18” vs “4/20/19”).

Clarify Unclear Language And Make Your Style Reflect The Tone Of Your Piece

The active voice is the kind of writing that’s the most engaging to readers. It should be familiar to you: it’s when the subject of a sentence is doing something, as opposed to being acted upon. So instead of saying “He was hit by a car”, say “A car hit him”. It sounds much more powerful and energetic than its passive counterpart, doesn’t it?

It’s also important to use simple language. This means using words that your readers can understand without having to look up their meanings later on think “presently” instead of “currently”. 

And don’t get too fancy with your words; think about how much easier this phrase is for your audience: “I will never speak again!” versus “Please listen carefully because I’m about to drop some knowledge.”

Clarity and concision are also important qualities in good writing (and if you want more tips on how to master these skills, check out our guide). Simple sentences are great for this and short ones are even better! 

Short paragraphs have the added benefit of making sure you stay focused throughout the piece; short sections make sure there isn’t too much information at once; short sections within those shorter paragraphs keep each idea clear while still moving fast enough forward so readers aren’t bored or confused by lengthy passages.

Are you considering a career in magazine writing? Learn about the lucrative potential and other benefits of pursuing this path in our post on 13 Main Reasons Magazine Writing Earns You the Most Money.

Readers Will Notice That Every Word Has A Reason Behind It

As you write, make sure to focus on your writing style. Your style can reflect a lot about you as a person, but it also reflects how others will think of you and what they expect from you.

If you want to be taken seriously by readers, they will notice that every word has a reason behind it. Readers will notice that every word has a reason behind it. 

They’ll know if you’re being lazy in your writing or if the writer is trying to take advantage of them with unclear language or generalist information (e.g., “the best” vacation spots).

In General, Avoid Being A Generalist Where Possible If Not For Yourself Then For The Sake Of Your Readers

Try to be as honest as possible with your piece to let readers know if they’ll like it is what it’s about

Be as honest as possible with your piece to let readers know if they’ll like it.

Don’t be afraid to write about your flaws.

Don’t be a generalist; know the subject you’re writing about and write only in that area of expertise or interest unless you have a good reason not to do so.

Follow the four rules of good writing: Clarity, concision (brevity), coherence, and style that reflects the tone of your piece

Ready to take the leap into the world of freelance magazine writing? Our step-by-step guide on How to Break into Freelance Magazine Writing offers valuable advice and actionable tips to kickstart your writing career.


We hope that these tips have inspired you to write a better piece. If you’ve read this far, then we know that you’re interested in becoming a better writer, which means that you already have some of the skills needed to create good content! 

Remember that practice makes perfect and always keep learning new techniques from those around us who inspire us (and possibly even change our minds).

Further Reading

Open Letter to Editors of Online Publications: Learn how to craft compelling open letters that resonate with online publication editors.

Letter to the Editor: Tips and Guidelines: Find valuable tips and guidelines to write effective letters to the editor and get your voice heard.

An Open Letter to Open Letter Writers: Gain insights into the art of writing impactful open letters and their significance in the business world.


What is the purpose of writing open letters to editors?

Open letters to editors serve as a means to address important issues, express opinions, or seek change in a public and impactful way.

How can I make my letter to the editor stand out?

To make your letter stand out, ensure it is concise, well-researched, and addresses a current or relevant topic with a compelling argument.

Can open letters lead to tangible outcomes?

Yes, open letters can influence public opinion, bring attention to pressing matters, and even lead to changes in policies or practices.

Are there any specific guidelines for writing letters to the editor?

While guidelines may vary, letters to the editor are generally expected to be brief, respectful, and relevant to the publication’s audience.

How can I get my open letter published in a prominent publication?

To increase the chances of publication, tailor your open letter to suit the publication’s style, follow submission guidelines, and focus on presenting a unique perspective or solution.