Do British magazines and newspapers use the same query letter system as the U.S. for story proposals?
May 25, 2004 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Do British magazines and newspapers use the same query letter system we use in the United States for story proposals? If not, how do you get a British editor to pay attention?
posted by inksyndicate to Writing & Language (4 answers total)
what kind of article, what publication, and what's a query letter system?
posted by gravelshoes at 2:43 PM on May 25, 2004

If I don't know the editor I simply phone up and do 20 second pitch, or email with follow-up call. A lot depends on what kind of publication, what you're proposing, and your track record. I've never done anything in the States -seriously, what is the query letter system?
posted by gravelshoes at 3:36 PM on May 25, 2004

Generally, I'll take stories if the writer sends an email explaining briefly who they are and what they've got. I can often forget to get back to them, so a follow-up call helps with that. I don't like getting direct phone offerings; I prefer to mull it over.

If the e-mail is poorly worded or misspelt, it's trashed.

I also pay more attention to writers who come with a recommendation from someone I know, or who have been given my address by someone I know. Networking is alive and well in the press.
posted by bonaldi at 3:58 PM on May 25, 2004

Bonaldi's advice is good. You're in with much more of a chance if you are recommended by another journalist or editor.

If not you should just write or telephone briefly explaining your excellent experience and your superb story idea. You may then be asked to draw up a proposal, which might be a page long summary of the article.

The people you will be pitching to will either be very busy, very disorganised - or both. So you'll need to keep trying.
posted by skylar at 1:01 AM on May 26, 2004

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