by Roberta Beach Jacobson in Karpathos, Greece
MyMidwest Magazine (http://www.mymidwestmagazine.com) is the lively and colorful bi-monthly in-flight magazine for Midwest Airlines. Most of what you find in its 116 pages is written by freelancers, which means your story stands a good chance of getting in. That said, be sure that any travel story you propose covers a destination in Midwest Airlines’ flight schedule, or the editor won’t print it.
You can find out where Midwest Airlines flies here. Note that the airline’s hub cities are Kansas City and Milwaukee, so those two cities are heavily covered in the magazine.
Each issue contains at least five destination features which run around 800 to 2,000 words long. Don’t fret about style. The magazine covers all bases: chatty, lighthearted, informative, and inspirational.
If you’re short on story ideas, you’ll find some suggestions in the writer’s guidelines that follow, including: “New Nightlife in Milwaukee,” “New York’s Best Sake Bars,” “10 Best Eco-tours Near San Diego,” “Florida’s 20 Best Beaches,” “America’s Best Rollercoasters,” etc.
MyMidwest pays 45 cents per word. It’s quick, too. Once you send in your invoice, you’ll be paid within 30 days. Make sure you include the invoice with the final copy of your story.
The editors at MyMidwest Magazine require clips at the outset and don’t want to be bothered with unsolicited manuscripts, so you’re better to query first. They expect professional proposals that are well-focused (with headline, etc.) and you should explain why you believe your story would suit their magazine.
E-mail your queries to editor Orion Ray-Jones, at: email@example.com
SAVVY WRITER TIP: You can get statistics about MyMidwest readers, so you know how to write an attractive story that fits its readership, by checking out the advertising section of the site.
Each issue has one million readers, including online readers. The magazine is fairly new, launched in March 2007, and is published by Ink Publishing of Brooklyn, NY (the largest publisher of airline mags). To check out some of the lively articles they publish, visit the MyMidwest Magazine website.
You won’t find any writer’s guidelines on the MyMidwest site, but I’ve copied them below. You can also get them – along with the guidelines to over 30 other in-flight magazines — in AWAI’s Breaking Into Airline In-Flight Magazines: Secrets, Tips and Tactics to Quickly and Easily Crack on of the Industry’s Most Lucrative (and Glamorous) Markets.
In-flights are fun to write for… they’re glamorous… and the pay is great.
MYMIDWEST MAGAZINE WRITER’S GUIDELINES
Thank you for your interest in writing for MyMidwest.
MyMidwest is the 116-page in-flight magazine for Midwest Airlines. The title is bi-monthly, with an estimated readership of 800,000 per issue.
If you are not familiar with the airline and its services, please visit: www.midwestairlines.com. To view previous issues of MyMidwest, please visit: www.mymidwestmagazine.com.
The title includes a mix of destination, human interest, lifestyle and business features. We are looking for writers throughout Midwest Airlines’ destinations who can knowledgeably write about local sights, scenes and activities. We also need writers who specialize in property, light business (lifestyle, training, success stories, motivation, etc.) and human-interest topics. Please find descriptions of the sections below.
Every issue will contain at least 5 destination-lead features, ranging from 800 words to 2,000 words, which should highlight locations across Midwest Airlines’ network. The destination features may be general introductions to the cities or have strong angles. Many of the destinations are gateways to regions, so stories can focus on the cities themselves, or on interesting surrounding areas and activities. Keep in mind that the features are for both locals and arriving travelers, so stories that introduce the cities’ restaurants, bars, shopping, entertainment, nature, history, etc. always work quite well. We are particularly interested in features that cover destinations in new, exciting ways, covering breaking trends or insiders’ knowledge. Some possible story ideas: “New Nightlife in Milwaukee,” “New York’s best sake bars,” “10 Best Eco-tours near San Diego.”
The features should be contemporary, interesting and appeal to a large cross section of readers. An article should be of interest to a reader that is not heading to the destination it is about (and hopefully make them want to book a trip to the destination!). Also, features that highlight numerous destinations are appealing (e.g., “Florida’s 20 Best Beaches,” “America’s Best Rollercoasters,” etc.).
Our hubs are in Milwaukee and Kansas City. As such, these two cities will receive the heaviest coverage and should always be considered in “round-up” features.
We do not accept pitches that highlight destinations not covered by Midwest Airlines, that are untimely or that promote Midwest Airlines’ competitors.
Midwest Airlines prides itself on attentiveness to its customers and the cities it serves. Beyond merely promoting destinations, MyMidwest seeks to connect with the communities the airline has become a part of. Features about the people and places that make destinations special are ideal. From charity to history to a simply touching story, the list of possible topics is endless.
The business section will consist of light business pieces, no hard news. Stories should focus on lifestyle and the entrepreneurial spirit. There will always be a success story feature, where an interesting business owner tells the story of how he took his company from nothing to something. There will also be regular features on biz lifestyle, property, motivation, gadgets and general business issues.
The tone of the magazine ranges from chatty and lighthearted to informative and inspirational. Features should never read like hard news and should always capture the readers’ imaginations with irresistible leads, informed quotes, colorful descriptions, clean transitions and strong endings. With a few exceptions, we prefer features to be written in the third person. In general, we adhere to the Associated Press style guide.
Most of the features are written by freelancers, although please note: we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. If you are interested in writing for MyMidwest, please send ideas only, not completed features. We do commission writers we have not used before, but only those whose published clips demonstrate a high proficiency in magazine writing.
We prefer pitches to be made by email as opposed to cold telephone calls. We do not accept pitches whose main aim is to promote specific products or businesses.
Pitches should be thought out, well written and focussed. Please do not send through lists of short, incomplete ideas. Like a completed story, the query should have a headline, deck and strong lead. A well-crafted pitch will usually run a paragraph or two in length, in which a writer should explain how they envision the completed story and why they think it would be perfect for MyMidwest.
Please look through recent issues of MyMidwest on our website (www.midwestairlinesmag.com) to research our style and to make sure we have not recently run a piece on the topic you are proposing. WRITERS MUST INCLUDE PUBLISHED CLIPPINGS.
Email proposals to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prospective contributors doing preliminary research for a story must avoid giving the impression that they are representing MyMidwest or Ink Publishing. They may use the name of the magazine only if they have a commissioned assignment. We expect writers to be objective and adhere to journalistic codes of ethics.
Writers will be paid 45 cents per word for the assigned (not received) word count, with net 45 payment terms. Writers should include invoices with their final copy. In some instances, writers may choose to get Midwest Airlines tickets in lieu of payment.
Please invoice us using our templated invoice form. (If you do not have the invoice template, please email Orion for it.) Email (with invoices attached).
** All invoices should be submitted to email@example.com and CCed to firstname.lastname@example.org
** ‘Subject’ (on email) should be in the following format:
trading name, invoice number, magazine title, publication date
For example: John Doe Invoice 23 MyMidwest Dec07
** If you need to follow up on an unpaid invoice, please use the subject line:
John Doe outstanding invoice 23 MyMidwest Dec07
** All invoices should be submitted to email@example.com and CC’d to firstname.lastname@example.org
** All invoices should be an attachment (not imbedded in emails)
** All invoices should include:
– Posting address (sometimes different from address of ‘supplier’)
– P.O. Box numbers and suite/addresses (if appropriate)
– Unique invoice number
– Description of work, issue the work relates to, invoice date, etc.
– For bank transfers, the following information is required
Beneficiary name (who check should be made out to), Bank name, Bank transit/routing #, Account number, Account type (checking or savings), Beneficiary type (personal or corporate)
Note: we cannot pay anyone without an invoice. This invoice needs to be an attachment, not imbedded in an email.
Direct +1 (646) 419-4890
INK Tel +1 (888) 864-1732
Fax +1 (917) 591-6247
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]