Professional Writing Advice Part 2: Eden CoxPosted: May 1, 2012
Eden Cox editor at Executive Media shares her advice for writers on My Interning Life.
1. Know your audience
Get an article brief from the editor and be sure about what they want before you start. Write a synopsis of your article before you begin so the editor has a chance to alter or refine your focus. Get a copy of the publication you’re writing for and take note of the style, language and intended audience; by all means be interesting and fresh in your writing, but don’t go overboard!
2. Proofreading is your best friend
For extra points, ask the editor for their style guide so you can apply the house style to your article (they’ll love you for making their life easier!). Always proofread your article thoroughly before you send it off. There’s nothing worse for an editor than receiving articles full of spelling mistakes and poor grammar – especially when you’re receiving 30 or so such pieces in one day!
3. Writing to the word limit
Make sure you stick to the word limit; it’s likely that the editor has portioned out a finite space for your article in the magazine, and writing too much or too little will cause problems. If you are commissioned to write 1,000 words, that is how much you should charge for, even if your article does end up being a little longer.
Don’t expect too much from your commission. Check freelance charge rates through the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and accept that you’ll have to work hard for a reputation as a reliable, interesting and competent writer before you can demand big bucks!
5. Handing off your masterpiece
And lastly, don’t be too precious about your work because editors will make changes to it. A magazine is complicated and each part has to work with the other parts, so trust them, and accept that your masterpiece might look slightly different in print!