Writing for any magazine is going to be a challenge and will require a lot of writing skills. If you are a lover of sports and would like to be able to write for someone like Sports Illustrated it's going to almost always going to require that you have already have professional writing experience. So, if you are a writer already and want to find opportunities to write for a magazine like SI remember it's going to be a tough job trying to break into the business. Here are some guidelines to follow that could get you started on your quest.
First and foremost, you need to figure out what kind of article that you are going to write for Sports Illustrated. Their magazine has several different segments in it that require articles such as:
- First Person
- Who's hot, Who's Not
- Inside the Many Sports
- Faces in the Crowd
- The Point After
Most of their writers are already in house and hired as regular contributors for the magazine. But there are some articles that they do set aside for freelance opportunities.
You should then write a query letter. This is a letter that will propose to the magazine to give you permission to write an article. This shouldn't be the article itself. Your letter must start with some sort of attention grabbing statement. They receive thousands of these letter every month, so your letter will need to stand out in the crowd.
Once you've done this you will need to include a short synopsis of your original article idea. You need to use the least amount of space in order to say the most about the topic of your article. You want to be able to convey your message as clear as you can and as quickly as you can. The editors of SI are busy people and they don't have a lot of time to sit around reading all the letters they get. So say what you need to say and just be done with it all.
Then you should finish your letter with a very short biography that lets them know why you are qualified to write for them. Are you someone who is an expert at sports, do you have a degree in physical eduction? Make sure that you list any magazines you may have already written for. You might also want to include a sample of your writing from the magazines, including the clips from the magazine. This is the only shot you have at selling yourself.
You should then address your letter to articles editor or to the senior editor and put a phrase in the subject line that tell the editor you are sending them a query letter. You can then send all of this via email by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This could take up to at least six months before you will hear anything from them.
You can also send your query letter through regular mail and not email. Make sure that if you choose this way to include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you expect to get a response from them. You would address the envelope Sports Illustrated Time, Inc., Magazine Co. Sports Illustrated Bldg. 135 W 50th St. New York, NY 10020.
Final Note: Never send unsolicited manuscripts to SI without their permission first.