Spirit Magazine is the only in-flight entertainment offered on Southwest Airlines and, as a great source of distraction for passengers, it doesn’t limit itself to articles about travel.
This month’s issue covers stories on Detroit and Las Vegas, as well as tidbits about TV characters, country music singers, facts about submarines, and recipes for coffee desserts.
As a freelance writer, Spirit won’t accept your story ideas for regular columns or feature stories, but you can submit queries for at least 12 other departments in the magazine.
Consider starting with the Who, What, When, and Where sections, as they run around 300 words long and you can write them from anywhere.
“Who” focuses on an outstanding person, famous or not. “What” is generally about a new object for sale that is in some way unusual, beautiful, or intriguing. “When” and “Where” are more travel-minded, covering historical stories that take the reader “back in time” in locations Southwest flies, as well as exploring those locations in the present.
If you haven’t been traveling lately, Spirit also publishes “Love Letter” articles. The idea is to write a letter of love to a person, pet, or object that you love. These run around 700 words long, are written in literary prose, and aim to inspire (and entertain) readers. If you want to write for the “Love Letter” section, you should check out similar articles in the archives to understand what the editor is looking for.
Spirit doesn’t accept full manuscripts, but prefers detailed queries, except for “Love Letter” articles, which should be sent in completed. As usual, you should thoroughly read through the writer’s guidelines before submitting. You’ll find them here.
Most of these smaller departments in the magazine look approachable for newer writers. And, if you land a byline in Spirit, you’ll have a prestigious, good-looking clip under your belt. Plus, the pay is very good — around a dollar per word — so you could make around $300 for half a page of text or up to $700 for about two pages.
This is an in-flight writing opportunity to jump on sooner rather than later. And if you want to write about cities that Southwest Airlines doesn’t cover, you can consider other in-flight magazines, too. There are scads of them out there.
One way is to go through each of their websites, searching for the writer’s guidelines.
Or, you can get a list of 25 of the most approachable magazines, with their writer’s guidelines and detailed instructions on how to write and pitch stories in our Breaking into In-Flights guide.
[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.]