Midwest Living Writer's Guidelines
Who we are
Midwest Living is the definitive voice of the Midwest, a bi-monthly lifestyle magazine with a circulation of 925,000. Our articles focus on travel, food, home and garden. Article lengths are generally between 100 and 1,000 words. We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas (we also sometimes do stories in bordering states such as Kentucky and Arkansas). We strive for a tone that is fresh, knowledgeable, fun and sophisticated.
What we're looking for
If you'd like to pitch a story idea, keep the following tips in mind:
• Read several recent issues for a sense of Midwest Living's tone and content. Make sure your writing and your story ideas could fit into that mix.
• In your email, introduce yourself briefly and include links that will help us learn more about your background and writing style, such as your LinkedIn profie; your blog or professional website; Instagram or other social media accounts; your resume (if not on your website).
• Suggest two or three specific ideas and explain them in 2-3 well-crafted sentences. An email that simply says "I'd like to write for you" isn't likely to grab anyone's attention.
• We tend to develop new writers on by sending them on small assignments in their immediate geographic vicinity or by having them write 300 to 600-word articles for our website. You are welcome to submit magazine feature ideas, but your best opportunity for an assignment comes from pitching an item for one of the columns in our front-of-book coverage, or suggesting a piece for our website.
• Solid photography skills are a big plus if you're pitching website articles. The best way to show us your photo ability is via your Instagram account (or professional photo website).
What we're not interested in
• personal essays
• stories about your vacation
• humor pieces
• nostalgia pieces
• routine pieces on familiar destinations such as the Dells, the Black Hills or Navy Pier
• previously published works
Our annual issue planning occurs in the late summer and fall, but we are glad to accept story pitches throughout the year. Most of our articles are researched one year before publication date, especially if they are dependent upon seasonal factors such as snow or fall foliage.
How to submit an idea
Email email@example.com and ask that your idea be forwarded to the appropriate department (travel, home/garden, food or digital). Please note that due to a high volume of emails, we are not able to respond to every unsolicited query. Your email will be forwarded to the appropriate editor and you will be contacted if the editor has a question or sees an opportunity.
If we decide to use your query, we will contact you, negotiate the story details and rate and then send a written contract. We buy all rights and pay after accepting the completed article. Our rates vary depending on the article, the writer and the amount of research involved. A writer working with us for the first time could generally expect up to $150 for a short assignment or for a website article.