Families around the world, whether they are in New York City, London, or Mumbai, look to parenting magazines for tips on everything from discipline to fun events. As a freelancer, these publications offer numerous opportunities to earn extra income and expand your audience.
Writing for parenting magazines outside the United States is similar to writing for American publications, but with a few caveats. This article shows you what to keep in mind.
First of all, where can you find these markets? Start with a Google search. Type keywords such as “parenting magazines,” as well as whatever country you’re interested in working in. Stick to publications that publish in a language you’re proficient in. I’m a monolingual English speaker, so I prefer to deal with publications in that language. One problem with dealing with publications that don’t speak your language is that the barrier can lead to miscommunication. When you’re negotiating a contract, you don’t want a publication that doesn’t understand English-language terms such as kill fee and pays on acceptance.
Once you find a publication you want to work for, study the website, paying special attention to the list of editors. Many magazine websites have the email addresses of editors. Whenever possible, approach the managing or associate editor with your pitch. The larger magazines list editors on their websites, but some smaller publications only have a general email address or contact form. In this case, contact the publication at the general address and inquire about which editor accepts article queries. Be willing to wait a couple of days for a response. In some cases, you might have to make an international call to verify editor information. Find the phone number on the publication website. Use timeanddate.com to find the local time. Always call your publication during its business hours, even if it’s a seven or eight-hour difference from your location.
After you find the appropriate editor for your pitch, start writing your article proposal. Remember one thing though – you’re writing not to fellow Americans, but to cultures with different biases and expectations. Being culturally insensitive is the fastest way to kill your potential assignment before it’s born. Some countries are very conservative when it comes to gender roles, while other countries frown on articles that glorify violence. In other words, your article on sex education may fly in Western Europe but not in the Middle East. Your nostalgic piece on cap guns may not be acceptable in a country with strict gun-control laws. One good site to get an overview on cultural etiquette is ediplomat.com. This website was originally meant for American diplomats in foreign countries, but it’s also good for tourists in general and writers.
It takes some special skills to crack international parenting markets. But in the end, the extra work brings in a higher income and a larger audience for your work. Here are five international parenting publications for American freelance writers:
Mother, Baby & Child
Country: United Arab Emirates
Print edition editor: Dina Maaty
Online editor: Emma Hodgson