Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Going National

If I'm pitching a big national women's magazine with a trend story, should I mention that I covered the general topic this year already. I did a local feature on an example of this trend for a local city magazine. So I have contacts and a general passion for the topic. Should I include this local story in my clips with the pitch or will this turn off national NYC editors...who I assume want something fresh and new? My pitch for the national magazine is broader but it touches on the same general trend I featured in the local story.

Ooh, this is a toughie, and I'm guessing that there are folks out there who have done this, so I'm hoping they'll weigh in, since I've never been in this position.

My instinct is to say that it's fine to mention the previous story IF it's not dated (i.e. older than six months) and IF you can make it "fresh" for the nationals. In fact, if you're going to take it from a local story to a national story, you'll have to put a different spin on it because editors at Vogue aren't going to care what's happening in Ohio unless it's part of a nationwide-trend. So you'll have to answer the question as to a) why is this still relevant six months later and b) what makes this trend applicable to country-wide readers, not just those in Ohio. If you can do this, then I'll argue that you're previous experience is your trump card. I've mentioned before that in your query, you need to convince the editor that you are the sole person who should write this story, and thus, in this pitch letter, I'd list the contacts and experts you'd use and mention that you already have established relationships with them. This gives you a leg up.

That said, I'm open to being swayed as to why you shouldn't mention the previous clip. Thoughts?


Anonymous said...

I would include the clip from the local publication, but not make a big deal about it. Nationals have a superior attitude re local publications. Proof that you've had something published on a topic is good, but of greater interest might be the national contacts you could bring to a national treatment of the story. Editors will want to know that you have great interview subjects scattered across the country who can be included in the article.

Jess Riley said...

I am SOOOO MAD I missed your post about the ten free books!!! I will still mention your book the week of release, of course. :)