How to Email an Editor

Kelsey Roadruck, contributing writer for Ed at Indiana, gives you all her tips on how to write a standout letter to the editor of your favorite mag!

There comes a very daunting time in an aspiring journalist’s time, and that time includes a shaky, clammy palm hovering above a mouse pad, eyes closing – no, squeezing – shut after rereading for the billionth time and finally clicking “send.” Letters to an editor can be overwhelmingly nerve-racking as you ponder detail-to-detail what you could revise, replace, and rewrite. Often times you end up scrapping the entire email and procrastinating on your career inquiry just one more day. If you couldn’t already tell, that one more day isn’t going to come on its own and land you that magazine editing job you want. However, Ed at Indiana has done some thorough research (from browsing WikiHow to asking editors themselves) to provide you the best email toolkit for a confident, and much less sweaty, “send”.

  1. Give the subject line a great deal of consideration. This is ultimately the first line of “copy” an editor will probably read of yours, and we all know first impressions are essentially either deal sealers or breakers. Though a catchy subject line is important to a point, conciseness and correct grammar will get you, and your email, even farther. A heavily hooked subject line may very well get an editor to open your email before others. However, if the subject line doesn’t match up with an email’s inquiring content or, worse, is an over-exaggeration of yourself or capabilities, then an editor may get frustrated and revert back to their inbox without a second glance. Note: If you have a solid reference, use this subject line to read “Referred to you by [reference’s name].”

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