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4. Introduce yourself! Write a short but powerful letter of introduction to each potential market, personalizing each letter with editor's correct name and title. This one has worked for me:
Smiley Face News
Dear Editor -
I am a freelance writer in Anytown, specializing in travel and in parenting issues. My work has been published in numerous print and online publications, including ABC and XYZ. As you can see from my clips, I have covered a wide range of local and regional topics. Additional samples are available on my professional website, www.myname.com.
I am currently available to work on a variety of assignments, including feature stories, guest columns, interviews and round-ups of regional events. I believe my experience and abilities are well- suited to your publication.
I look forward to discussing your current needs! May I contact you during next week to propose a few articles? If you have any questions, or need more information, I can be reached at 111-222- 3344.
Writer With A Purpose
5. Make those calls! Be charming, professional and brief. Have a few ideas to toss out. Make an appointment, take your relevant clips and figure out how you can help this newspaper or mag better serve its readers this year.
A final note: do your best work and meet your deadlines. One happy editor leads to another, and another, and another ...
Kay Bolden publishes FamilyFest Newsletter, a free online magazine for families of all shapes and sizes, and is the author of Think Outside the Minivan: A Guide to Travel with Kids, available at http://www.kaybolden.com. She earns vacation money by writing for weekly newspapers and travel agencies.