Writers – Guidelines

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Writers’ Gu >

Who we are

EatingWell is the only national food magazine that focuses exclusively on eating healthfully (our motto: “Where Good Taste Meets Good Health”). We are the preeminent magazine resource for people who want to enjoy food that is delicious and good for them.

Our readers are interested not only in cooking and nutrition science, but also in the origins of food and social issues related to food networks. They appreciate eating culture and traditions. They are well-read and discriminating—yet they don’t take themselves too seriously.

EatingWell’s “voice” is journalistic and authoritative; it speaks to both men and women. We cover nutrition with a newsy, science-based approach. Our recipes emphasize high-quality healthful ingredients, simple preparations and full flavor.

Publication frequency: 10 times a year
Circulation: 1,775,000 (as of the January/February 2019 issue)

We’d love to hear from you

We welcome ideas from new writers. If you haven’t worked with us before, it’s best to start off pitching front-of-book ideas, even if you’re an established writer. Consider it an audition for a longer piece.

Please familiarize yourself with EatingWell and our departments. It’s difficult for us to contract with someone to write a story—no matter how brilliant the idea is—if it doesn’t fit into a specific department in the magazine. Send us ideas for specific sections in the magazine (e.g., Good Life).

You increase your chance of scoring an assignment with us if you 1) develop your pitch following the format for past columns, and 2) explain why the proposed topic should be covered in a specific issue. Example: “I think that the trend of ‘X’ would make a great piece for the Good Life section of the September issue because X million Americans say they do ‘X’ every fall.”

Pitching tips

EatingWell prefers pitches via email. Our staff is small, so it may take up to a month to get a response from an editor. If after a couple of weeks you don’t hear from us, we welcome a friendly follow-up email. Describe your idea in two to three paragraphs. Be sure to explain “why now” and tell us where the story fits into the magazine. Share a bit (just a few sentences will do) about your experience: What other publications do you write for? What story topics interest you most? Please do not attach clips (we’ll request them if we want them); rather, sell us with great writing in your pitch. Even if your idea doesn’t “hit,” if your pitch is well-packaged (specifically for EatingWell) and written in a compelling way, we’ll be impressed—and likely to keep you in mind for future assignments.

Lead time: 3 to 6 months
Pay rate: up to $1/word
Rights purchased: All rights (including Web rights)

Freelancer-Friendly Columns

Items generally range from 150 to 400 words. (A one page story might be 500 words, max! Please keep this in mind when you pitch.) Writers interested in contributing should have a strong food-writing background. Here are some of the buckets we look to fill in this section:

Trendy turmeric, matcha lattes, probiotics-infused everything—we want to hear about some of the hot healthy foods. Some of the magic ingredients that makes a great trends story: an origins story of the food (such as where it’s grown or where it’s made), a cool main character, captivating photo opportunities, a distinct location, products to try, and an eye to health.

Ever encountered a food that is SO DELICIOUS that you’d jump on a plane and go there tomorrow if you could? Share it. This page always takes the form of “Will Travel for…” and then we hit five locations in a variety of cities and geographic areas on a food theme. Topics we’ve covered before include vegan food, cheese, and restaurants on the farm. Locations should mostly be in the U.S., but 1 or 2 international options are fine. Each pick should be unique, not only from the category on the whole, but also from the other picks.

This a page that covers a controversial, timely and pressing topic (i.e., current events) related to food. Topics can be around food policy, sustainability, social justice in food industry, etc.

Your pitch should include:

  • An answer to these two questions: Why should we cover this now? (timely) and What is at stake? (controversial/pressing)
  • A head and deck that introduce the idea that there is a problem
  • A compelling stat or quote that makes me care about this problem
  • Propose an expert (or two) who can give contextualization to this issue
  • An example or two of what actionable solution (or steps to a solution) we can suggest to readers. A topic shouldn’t be only doom-and-gloom.
  • What is the packaging? (Written through? Q&A? Point/Counterpoint? Infographic? Stat-driven?)

Good Health

Health and nutrition studies appear here. It can be multiple small stories or one page exploring various elements on one topic.

If something has appeared in a major news outlet or a food- or health-related news wire, we’ve seen the story, so please don’t pass the headline along without giving it a “Good” spin: What’s the angle for EatingWell? Why should we cover it now? (Or rather, in four to five months—which is our usual lead time.) Ask yourself: Could this work just as well in another food magazine? If the answer is yes, hone your pitch further, keeping EatingWell’s motto (“Where Good Taste Meets Good Health”) in mind.

We aim to highlight a new study that’s also timely. (For example, in February we might cover a new heart study since it’s American Heart Month or in the summer we might cover a study on hydration.)

This is one page devoted to how to solve health conditions with food and lifestyle habits. Past examples: mood; allergies; cholesterol.

Contact: Associate Nutrition Editor, Julia Westbrook, Julia.Westbrook@eatingwell.com

Food Stories

Most of our recipes are developed in-house or are contracted out to regular contributors who are well-established cooks and food writers. If you have a strong background in writing about food and developing recipes for national publications, we invite you to introduce yourself.

Contact: Food Editor Jim Romanoff, Jim.Romanoff@eatingwell.com

Other Columns

Food/Culture-based Travel Stories

When it comes to feature stories (including those with a travel component), EatingWell prefers to work with writers whose work we know. We invite established writers who have a strong portfolio of clips from major publications and travel stories that might appeal to our readers (think: healthful eating, food origins) to introduce themselves.

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