Once upon a time, I was an intern-turned-editorial contributor at the crown jewel of stylish online publishing, Refinery29.
Our stylish, growing team was crammed in a chic basement office, clattering away at our keyboards in a highly collaborative atmosphere.
As a freshly churned out fashion school grad, it was basically the best place I could have imagined working. They effectively kickstarted my writing career, which is huge. If the editors there hadn’t taken a chance on me, there’s no telling what I’d be doing right now.
…or whether this blog would exist!
Anyway, while growing increasingly obsessed with their ultra-cool content, I learned a lot about online publishing—specifically what editors look for.
In fact, I learned quickly enough that shortly after becoming an intern, I was allowed to guest-edit the site when the Editor in Chief or Global Editor had to step out for a meeting (or a runway show).
Site traffic was growing steadily, which meant editor inboxes were filling up regularly with pitches.
It seemed like everyone wanted to score some a piece of that prime digital real estate.
The editors spent a crazy amount of time reading emails from people hoping to place products or personalities on the website. They would laugh at some, gawk at others, and immediately assign some to be written up and published.
Others got deleted without a thought.
What was that magic quality something had to have to get published?, I wondered. And, after a while, I caught on. Years later, the same “magic qualities” hold true.
Want to get your projects published? Here’s what not to do when you’re writing to an editor…