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What is the best way for a freelance journalist to pitch a story to Wired Magazine?

4 Answers
Brandee Barker 
I've forwarded this question to a few people at Wired (Steven Levy, Fred Vogelstein & Gary Rivlin) in hopes they will answer with more specifics.

I would also defer to some of the suggestions in this answer (What is the best way to pitch a story to Wired Magazine?) i.e. “Understand the magazine” so you know what section your story may fit.

Unfortunately like many jobs, I believe getting a story in Wired is a little about having a really timely, relevant, unique idea and a lot about who you know. Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Wired U.S. does not post contributor guidelines, but Wired U.K. does here: http://www.wired.co.uk/wired-ins.... Wired UK has the same ownership, but is a different entity and with different contacts. However, the guidelines are extremely informative and very applicable to the process in the U.S.

  • Once you read through the above guidelines, check out the bios of the U.S. editors at Wired to determine who covers the “beat” where your story fits.  The editors (not the staff writers) make the decisions about hiring freelancers. All the details on their interests and areas of coverage are listed here: http://www.wired.com/about/press...

  • Once you narrow down a few targets, do some additional research online. For example, Senior Editor Chris Baker has a detailed profile on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/chris...) where he encourages freelancers to submit stories saying: “I'm not looking for product announcements or pitches from companies seeking coverage—I already get plenty of those. But I'm always looking for talented writers with great story ideas, something that has the potential to be a terrific yarn.”

  • If there doesn’t seem to be a direct match in an editor for your story, try Mark Robinson, Features Editor, since he has general responsibility at the magazine.

  • If you’re having trouble reaching the editors, you might try reaching out to one of the staff writers or regular contributing writers to solicit their advice.

  • Send your story thesis by email to the target editor. Put in ONE follow-up phone call at most.

  • Like most magazines, there is a weekly pitch meeting where the staff debates and decides what to include in the next issues. The editor who has your story idea will represent it at the meeting. If it passes the VERY critical lense of what  makes a Wired story, you’re on your way.

GOOD LUCK!
Erin Berkery-Rovner
Brandee's comments covered everything but I wanted to add these two quick things.

You should check out mediabistro.com's how to pitch guide. Writers from mediabistro interview Editors at magazines and ask them how they would like to be pitched to, what departments not to pitch to, etc.

It's basic, but gives you a really detailed background on what pitches worked and also pitches that won't work.
You'll need a membership to gain access to both the Wired guide and the wired.com guide, but it's cheap and worth it.

Also, before you send your pitch, make sure that you've done your due diligence, go to the library and go through the last year's worth of Wired.

If they ran an article that was dealing with the same subject matter a few months ago, then you'll want to pitch a different idea.
Even though I work for Wired, I'm a writer not an editor, and out of the loop when it comes to freelancers getting assignments.  Just so you know.

That said, I agree with Brandee's comments,especially about knowing the editor to whom you pitch.    But I can add a couple of things. 

First, keep in mind that we have a long lead time.  The stories we do must hold for a whille yet still be compelling at the moment the reader sees it.  You have to conceive of the story as something of lasting value.

Also, if you are not already known to Wired's editors, your best chance is to come up with an amazing story that we haven't heard of, and show that you are well positioned to do a great job on it. 

If that sounds obvious, it's because there's no magic formula, at least none that I know of.  But like every magazine I've ever known, we are hungry for someone who can deliver a fantastic story, and when one of those does come in, everyone is excited.  And the writer is certain to be asked for more.
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Natalie Reiman

Be short, clear and nice. Don’t put in to much information on your issue. Be sure to pitch the right person with the same field of interests! And never give up. It probably won’t be your first, or even third, email to be answered.