A Market for Your Sand, Sea, and Surf Story
By Jackie Flynn, Santa Fe, Argentina
Coastal Living, a lifestyle magazine, is a feast for the eyes — slick, glossy, and full of beautiful photos. It occupies a well-defined market niche of 625,000 subscribers who love a coastal lifestyle.
The magazine comes out ten times per year. The editorial lineup in each issue introduces readers to homes, destinations, activities, and people along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf shores of North America, Hawaii, and Alaska, primarily. Plus it includes coverage, too, of coastal Canada, Mexico, and some Caribbean islands. Occasionally, Coastal Living will include stories that focus on the Great Lakes. But for the most part, its stories spotlight topics within sight, sound, taste, touch, or smell of salt water.
The tone of the magazine is casual, but the content relies heavily on insider knowledge.
The magazine covers four main categories: homes, travel, lifestyle, and food & entertaining. In each category, you’ll find both features and regular columns.
The main travel stories in Coastal Living focus on a destination, an outdoor activity, a nature experience, or on lodging and dining in a particular place.
The editors want a writer to reveal the character of a destination in a fresh and lively way. Of course, at the same time you must keep the sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell of surf and sand ever-present in your story.
A second travel section also appears in each issue, a travel-community hybrid called “So You Want to Live In….” It offers a sense of “place,” much like a standard travel piece would. But in addition, it also includes practicalities of year-round life in a specific seaside town or village.
Coastal Living does not accept finished stories, but the editors are happy to consider a well-developed idea sent via query letter. Take a look at the guidelines, where you’ll find some tips on what will make a “Winning Query.”
To submit a query to the travel section, send an email to Jacquelyne Froeber, travel editor, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Do NOT send unsolicited articles, resumes, or writing samples by e-mail.
If your query is successful, an editor will contact you to talk through the specific angle, fees (typically $1 per word), expenses, and deadline. The editor will prepare and send you a story-focus sheet to confirm the story approach that you have both agreed on.
Here’s something to keep in mind if you wish to write for this publication: The editors plan Coastal Living stories one year in advance. The planning takes place from about November through January. So that means the slate for 2008 will be finalized by the end of January 2008.
There is some flexibility in the schedule, but editors generally stick to the plan. That allows time for research, photography, writing, and production.
So, if you have an interest in writing for this publication, now is the time to think about a suitable story you could pitch for review during their annual editorial meetings.
[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.]