A national food magazine editor said something I never thought I would hear.
For years, the big food magazines have not taken food bloggers seriously (except for the Bon Appetit column by Molly Wizenberg of Orangette). Now that some food bloggers have become established cookbook authors or gained a large following, they have also gained respect.
(I’ve also never heard an editor ask for MORE pitches. Most of the time their inboxes are overwhelming.)
Now’s your chance. Here’s Jennifer’s advice about pitching an article to Fine Cooking:
“Our audience is composed of people who love to cook and entertain, in the 45 to 65 age group, with high household income, who spend money on quality appliances and ingredients.
We want authors who are experts. We usually work with chefs, cooking instructors and food writers, and we recently began commissioning articles from bloggers. In the last year, we have hired Debbie Koenig (Parents Need to Eat Too), Jamie Schler (Life’s a Feast), and Fay DeLeon (Cook Like A Jamaican), for example.
Stories are recipe driven. The voice of the author is very important. A typical feature starts with a 500-word intro, followed by 4 to 5 recipes. Our food runs the gamut from gourmet or “project-y” (make your own feta, ravioli from scratch) to simple everyday cooking (but with an interesting twist, such as mac and cheese with roasted chilies). Some pre-made ingredients are fine, such as canned broth, tomatoes and beans; and rotisserie chicken. Two sidebars of 200 to 300 words provide support information, such as recommended types of cornmeal for a story about polenta.
We pay $250 per recipe, plus an additional amount for text, depending on length. The fee for a typical feature is generally in the $1200 to $1500 range.
We also use freelancers for Make It Tonight, our weeknight cooking column. We commission those recipes on an individual basis at $250 each.
In your pitch, tell me why you are the expert on the topic you’re proposing to write about and the right person to write the article for Fine Cooking. Give me recipe descriptions that show your style and sensibilities. If you can give us a thorough, detailed recipe that works in our test kitchen, you’re going to be one of our favorite people.”
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