What Editors Are Looking for in an Article Query
Editors are looking for articles that are authentic, well-researched, and exhibit great depth. An article query certainly needs to be suited to the magazine's style, it should exude enthusiasm and expertise (in cases where that applies), and ultimately provide something of value that the reader can take away.
Different magazines have a reader-base that is knowledgeable in certain areas that writers need to cater to. For instance, a publication like Backpacker will have readers that are knowledgeable backcountry wayfarers, dedicated to leaving no trace while backpacking in the wilderness, protection of the wildlife in a given area, preservation of wild lands, and not in favor of things like motorized travel in the wilderness. After a close study of past articles, a writer wishing to freelance for them would probably conclude that their story should somehow involve trying to improve the backcountry backpacking experiences of readers with whatever approach they take.
Many editors these days are happy to take photos from the writers themselves, so it’s good to develop those skills as well. Whatever you submit, be clean, neat and exhibit a professional demeanor. Sloppy and disorganized queries will be rejected outright.
Image courtesy of the author