New Writers Welcome at Saveur, says Oseland

James Oseland, Saveur magazine editor-in-chief

Wondering whether to pitch Saveur magazine? If you’ve never written for the publication before, you’re in luck, says Editor-in-Chief James Osland. In a recent phone interview, he estimated that some 60 to 80 percent of Saveur is freelanced. Of that amount, he said at least 50 percent is not from regular contributing editors.

So, if you do the math, that means 30 to 40 percent of Saveur’s food writing is written by new writers. Moreover, new writers don’t have to pitch a small story first.

“No,” Oseland  reiterates when I express surprise. “You don’t have to break in at the front of the book. I’ll take a feature.”

Saveur has only nine issues per year, with an average of 72 to 74 pages to fill per issue. That’s three or four features, four to five departments, and four to five shorter pieces in Fare, a department at the front. “We don’t have a lot of real estate,” Oseland admits. “Sometimes you have to choose stories that go well together. I wish it wasn’t finite, but alas it is, so we have to be judicious.”

One Long Communal Story Meeting

The way to get into Saveur is to pitch (an email to the editors that [Read more…]

Blogging Just For Love? No Way

James Oseland, Editor-in-Chief of Saveur magazine

Something James Oseland, editor of Saveur, said when he delivered the keynote at the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) struck me as strange. He said, “A food blog should not be a popularity contest. Blog because you love it, because you have to.” Then everyone applauded.

I bet food bloggers applauded because they are so sick of feeling like they’re in high school again: checking their Google rankings, embedding SEO links, worrying that no one will comment on a post, wondering when they’ll be popular enough to be invited on a press tour or get a book deal. Wouldn’t it be a relief if food blogging was not a popularity contest?

But of course it is. The bloggers who draw the most readers get the biggest book deals and the most opportunities and the most money from ads on their sites. That’s how it works. We need to get over it.

And I don’t see that these things are mutually exclusive anyway:  I blog because I love doing so, and I blog because I must. I love having a forum to get my ideas and opinions out. I love hearing from all of you and having [Read more…]

Little Room for Dec. Saveur Freelancers

14115cadbsaveur200912decp11jpgw300As Gourmet went down, Saveur went up. According to Eater, Saveur ended 2009 as the second highest magazine for ad page growth among all monthly mags. Its December issue was up 32 percent in ad pages, according to publisher Merri Lee Kingsly.

Impressive. Too bad she hasn’t raised the editorial budget in response. Instead, the editors have been working their tails off.

For the December issue, Executive Editor Dana Bowen wrote the 20-page cover story, including recipes and all but one sidebar, a feat that must have taken several months in addition to her full-time job.

In the same issue, Executive Food Editor Todd Coleman [Read more…]