University Marketing & Communications

September 9, 2016

Writing for magazines

Julie Lauderbaugh

What are the best practices for magazine writing, and how can you successfully pitch the UWAA’s widely-read magazine, Columns?

Lori Suderman, UWAA’s associate director for publications, kindly shared her top tips and tricks at our September Word Nerds meeting. The highlights:

Thinking about word counts:
  • Briefs (50 words or fewer)
  • Research pieces (500-750 words)
  • Features (around 800 words)
  • Essays (900 words or more)
  • Short profiles (500 words or fewer)
Prepping the pitch:
  • Outline the basic idea of the story
  • Write up a reporting plan
  • Note the newsworthiness
What makes a great magazine story:
  • Anecdotal lead
  • Compelling lead character(s)
  • Distinctly drawn setting
  • Plot with a resolution

Check out the full slides from the presentation here: 9.1.16 Word Nerds