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Writers' Guidelines

 

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: Bimonthly
Circulation: 750,000 (as of the July/August 2013 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).

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 Trend on Trial for the September/October issue because ‘X’ million of Americans say they do ‘X’ every fall.”

 

Pitching tips

EatingWell prefers pitches via e-mail. 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 e-mail. 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

Good:
In this front-of-book section, we feature seasonal picks and the latest trends in Good Taste, Good Health and Good Life (think: food policy, sustainable agriculture, wacky new eating practices, etc.). While some of Good’s regular features are written in-house (openers and the interview) or by regular contributors, much of the section is open to freelancers. Items generally range from 150 to 350 words. This is a section in which we like to try out new writers.

Some examples of pieces we've run:

Trend on Trial This column examines a popular eating (or diet) trend. In past issues, we’ve covered calorie restriction for longevity, the raw-food diet and faith-based weight-loss programs. In Trend on Trial items, we examine what (if any) scientific evidence supports the health benefits associated with the featured trend and provide expert commentary about the pros and cons of the practice. Then, we deliver an “EatingWell verdict.” Please review back issues and target your pitch accordingly. Interested writers should have strong scientific reporting skills.

Local Hero: We often highlight an individual (or group) who is promoting values of sustainable agriculture, food justice, nutrition education, food safety, environmental consciousness, animal welfare (as it relates to food) and/or healthful eating practices in his or her (or their) local community. Tell us about the results: what has this person accomplished? Who has this person helped? What makes this person unique?

Label Watch: What exactly is in packaged food? This column helps readers understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of packaged food. This is the place where we interpret the facts and figures of the nutrition facts label, decode health claims and shed light on mystery ingredients. We welcome pitches that approach the topic in a new and timely way.

Green Eating: Our readers care about the environmental impact of the way they shop and eat. A Green Eating column is often visually driven and breaks down the environmental toll of food production, processing or transportation. Sustainable agriculture and food origins pieces could fit into this section. Pitch us new ideas on pieces that can help our readers make more eco-conscious choices when buying food.

General news items: Other appropriate pitches for the Good section include timely topics in nutrition policy, food safety, food books (that aren’t diet books or cookbooks) and interesting expert/farmer/food-producer profiles. Think: off the beaten track. If something has appeared in a major news outlet (e.g., The New York Times, CNN.com) 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.

Contact: News Editor Gretel H. Schueller, gretel.schueller@eatingwell.com. Please include “Good” in the subject line.

 
Good Health:
In the nutrition part of this section, we cover timely nutrition topics with a service-based slant (think: “news you can use”). The Q&A column “Ask the Nutritionist” is written in-house (so please don’t send pitches for this item). Familiarize yourself with our formats—and send us ideas for the following:

News to Live By These 300- to 400-word pieces focus on a timely nutrition topic, highlight a couple to a few studies and are highly image-driven. If you’re pitching an idea to fit this format, please offer an art suggestion that delivers a strong visual impact. Also, tell us what experts you would interview and what questions you would ask these experts.

Fresh Findings and Food. I.Q.: These occasional columns deliver news our readers can use in 150-300 words. For our Fresh Findings pieces, 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 spring we might cover a diet study as people gear up for bathing-suit season.) Our Food I.Q. column, similarly, covers new research, but is presented in a fun, quiz format that engages the reader. If you’re pitching a Food I.Q. story idea, please include a suggested format (e.g., true/false, multiple choice, etc.).

Writers interested in contributing to the Good section should have a strong background in science and health reporting.

Contact: Nutrition Editor Brierley Wright, brierley@eatingwell.com. Please include “Good Health” in the subject line.

 
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.

Contact: Editor-in-Chief Jessie Price, editor@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: Send a note about your experience and publishing history to Editor-in-Chief Jessie Price, editor@eatingwell.com

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