Midwest Living Writer's Guidelines | Midwest Living

Midwest Living Writer's Guidelines

Interested in writing for Midwest Living? Please review these guidelines before sending us your submission.

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. We include writer bylines on features, but most of our freelance opportunity lies in scouting and research.

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, Twitter 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 scouting 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 a stand-alone item such as a cool shop or an off-the-beaten path restaurant, 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

Lead time

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 midwestliving@meredith.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.


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 scouting assignment or for a website article.

Comments (5)

thebookhouse wrote:
I think you need to visit Cedar Rapids Iowa and see the amazing transformation after the flood of 2008
cordjul3869383 wrote:
You should consider a visit to Tattered Tiques in Lake Barrington Il. It is a charming little family run antiques and vintage shop located in the warehouse district. These ladies travel the Midwest on closed weekends in search of new treasures to offer. Located off the beaten path, they are hidden gem! Filled with tons of inspiration, and offering 2 different paint lines, and classes on how to use them, there is certainly something for everyone! Located close to the town of Barrington, there is plenty of shopping and restaurants nearby. Visit Facebook/Tatteredtiques, or tatteredtiques.com for more info.
jameysgirl wrote:
Our family moved from NE Ohio to Cedar Falls IA five years ago. They have a wonderful holiday celebration. Only gets bigger and better every year. Here's a link. http://www.cfholidayhoopla.com
wmac3319yahoo wrote:
Nauvoo, IL was originally the Mormon colony and has been rebuilt by the Mormons in Utah. Every fall, this year Sept. 2, they celebrate the grape festival highlighted by the "Wedding of the Wine and Cheese". They have their own vineyards producing a unique bouquet of wines. They also produce their own blue cheese which is outstanding. Nauvoo is located on the Mississippi River across from the half way point between Ft. Madison and Keokuk, IA.
mslaubergmail wrote:
You should consider do a Story on the Door County Scottie Rally. It is attended by people from at least 46 states and countries such as Australia, South Africa and Canada. Since 2001 they have raised over $200,000 in support of Rescue and Health studies. I know Door County is a favorite of the magazine this would be a new way to show the Dog Friendly side in the story. DSCR is being held May 18th-19th. www.doorcountyscottierally.com

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