The Inside Scoop on Regional Magazines

We know, we know. Your goal has been, and always will be, to take over for Anna Wintour (or at least be her trusty assistant). So, what happens when you land your big break but on a smaller scale, like at a regional magazine? It turns out there are numerous perks that result from working at a local publication! Kim Hannel, of Indianapolis Monthly, weighs in and explains what a regional magazine is really all about.

Being close to the action allows for relevant stories and makes it easier to go on location and find the information needed. “Proximity and familiarity also mean that we are more likely to find the smaller, super-interesting story that a national magazine just wouldn’t have access to,” Hannel said.

Bigger isn’t always better
Although national magazine companies have larger staffs and consequently, more readily available resources, that’s not to say that regional magazines pale in comparison. Regional magazines have fewer employees, making the family more close-knit and way more home-y.

Silver Lining
No matter what city you end up in, you’ll find your way and make it your home. “The single greatest thing I’ve learned from being at Indianapolis Monthly is that Indianapolis is actually one of the best places in the country to live and work and raise a family. We have so many options and so many experiences and so many opportunities waiting to be discovered,” said Hannel, who’s been the managing editor since 2001.

Final Tips for Success
Don’t be afraid to pitch stories to magazines you like and to send e-mails to editors at magazines you admire. Hannel tells us that starting anywhere you can and writing for publication anywhere you can is part of the way to break into the industry. If you have a blog, contribute faithfully. If you don’t have a blog, consider starting one. It allows people to see how you write, not how the editor at your school publication changed your writing. And do an internship. Or four. Exposure to the field will give you so much more insight into the industry, and hiring managers appreciate that.

Don’t worry Ed-sters! Regional magazines are definitely a step in the “write” direction. If you land a job or internship regionally, take in all the opportunities and you might just land a trusty assistant of your own one day.

Alex Diamond