Thank you for your interest in New Jersey Monthly. Here are some guidelines that will help you in submitting material:
WHO WE ARE
• New Jersey Monthly is a statewide magazine covering the people, places and issues of New Jersey—and only New Jersey. Total audited circulation is about 92,000; total readership (based on pass-along copies) is more than 500,000. New Jersey Monthly also publishes New Jersey Bride, a twice-yearly bridal magazine.
• Get to know our publication before pitching. Most stories published since 2005 are archived on our website. Copies of the magazine may be purchased on newsstands throughout the state ($3.99) or requested on this website. One-year subscriptions are $19.95.
WHAT WE WANT
• We are interested in timely stories about current issues; local personalities; healthcare; education; politics; business; the environment; science and technology; real estate and development; arts and culture; Jersey history and attractions; restaurants and food; shopping; beauty and fashion; home and garden; music and nightlife; local sports and athletes; and recreation. We are particularly looking for writers who can deliver brightly written, well-researched service articles, but we are also interested in investigative stories from qualified reporters. Profiles are typically 1,000-1,200 words; full-length feature stories run 2,000-3,000 words. If your query leads to an assignment, we’ll specify what length we’re looking for. Editor Ken Schlager makes most of the assignments, except as specified below.
• We leave hard news coverage to daily newspapers and 24/7 websites. However, we are interested in analytical pieces that bring a fresh or deeper perspective to the news. We also are interested in profiles of Jersey newsmakers.
• Stories for our front-of-book Garden Variety (GV) section range from entertaining and illuminating slices of local life to brief people profiles. We’re looking for stories you won’t find in other local publications and unconventional angles on the current scene. Freelance writers often begin their association with New Jersey Monthly here. These stories usually run 250-350 words. Send queries to managing editor Deborah Carter.
• The GV section includes a monthly book review (Jersey subjects or Jersey authors only; no self-published books); a one-page Culture Corner (500 words); and a one-page Q/A (500 words). For book reviews, query managing editor Deborah Carter; Culture Corner and Q/A are assigned by editor Ken Schlager.
• Restaurant reviews are done exclusively by a small group of carefully chosen reviewers (who do not reveal their presence when eating for reviews). Our dining section also includes sidebars on food news and trends specific to New Jersey. Restaurant/food coverage is assigned by senior editor Eric Levin.
• Exit Ramp, our back-page feature, is a grab bag of fun reads, sometimes personal, often irreverent. Exit Ramp can be a slice of life or a slice of Jersey history. These pieces are typically 500 words and accompanied by a strong photo or illustration. Exit Ramp is assigned by editor Ken Schlager.
WHAT WE DON’T WANT
• We focus entirely on New Jersey. We are not in the market for articles that are not about the people, places and issues of our state. Nor are we much interested in stories about national subjects that touch New Jersey only tangentially. General lifestyle pieces (ie: exercise, nutrition, personal finance) also don’t work for us.
• We are not in the market for fiction, personal reminiscences or poetry—except as possible one-page Exit Ramp features.
HOW TO PITCH US
• E-mail is the preferred method of communication. Phone calls are discouraged.
• Tell us your story idea, why it is right for our magazine and why you are the one to write it. You can query with a small sample of your previously published work. Don’t overwhelm us with clips (two relevant clips will suffice) or long pitches. Less is more. PDF attachments or web links to prior articles are acceptable.
• Before pitching, read several issues of the magazine—or at least spend time on the website. If you think your idea would work in a specific section (ie: Garden Variety), say so. And please check our archives to see if we’ve already covered the subject.
• Each issue has a cover theme, which is reflected in our publishing calendar. Feel free to pitch ideas that appear to fit our cover theme.
• Be patient. We receive many queries. It can take as long as 2-3 months to respond. (Hint for prospective writers: The squeaky wheel does NOT get the grease.)
• If you must submit your query by mail, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for our reply. We cannot respond to queries and manuscripts not accompanied by return postage. Please allow four to six weeks for a response.
• Do NOT send unsolicited manuscripts in any form.
• For all stories, New Jersey Monthly buys first rights and pays on receipt of invoice (net 30 days), unless otherwise indicated. An invoice should be submitted upon acceptance of your finalized article. Pre-approved out-of-pocket expenses will be reimbursed with proper documentation.
• Further details are contained in our writer’s contract, which all contributors are required to sign before submitting their first assignment.
• All stories must be accompanied by a list of contacts for fact checking. Longer pieces often require annotation. In some cases, we require submission of notes and transcripts.
• The magazine is published about the 20th of each month. Deadlines will be specified with each assignment, but are generally at least two months before planned publication. Seasonal stories often are assigned one year in advance.
• We use the Chicago Manual of Style, with occasional exceptions. Please refer to the magazine for style guidance on matters like titles and addresses.
• When contacting sources, you may state that “I’m writing an article for New Jersey Monthly” if the article has been specifically assigned, in writing, by an editor of New Jersey Monthly. You may not represent yourself as anything other than an independent contractor on assignment for New Jersey Monthly.
• If you or a close relative or friend are related in any way (e.g., board memberships, employment, volunteer work) to a story you wish to work on, this relationship must be disclosed to the editor prior to accepting the assignment.
• Freelance writers are not allowed to accept gifts, gratuities or other special privileges in connection with an assignment for New Jersey Monthly. When in doubt about what is permissible or appropriate, check with the assigning editor.
We are seeking freelance writers who can deliver lively, well-researched stories that help our readers make the most out of New Jersey. We respect writers who can deliver copy on deadline that fits the specifications of our assignment. If you fit this description, we’d love to work with you.
Thanks for your interest in New Jersey Monthly.