Editors? They’re divas. If we don’t find a two-liter of premium coffee, 10 fine-point red Sharpies and a bowl of 3,000 blue M&Ms waiting at our desks when we get to work in the morning, we pretty much lose it.

But, we’ve got the keys to the magazine castles and the ginormous salaries to prove it (well, one of the two, anyway)—so the best way to get a freelance gig and a place on our Go-To Writers list is to know what editorial sins keep us up at night.

Professional freelancing is about way more than just hitting a deadline and delivering what you promised in your query—it’s about building a relationship to the mutually beneficial point where we start pitching you ideas to write for us.

—by James Roland

With that in mind:

1. Don’t spell an editor’s name wrong.

I know, I know! I’ve already admitted we’re divas. It’s a simple oversight, but think about it: When you pitch an article and spell our names wrong, how are we supposed to trust you to execute that huge, wildly complex article you’re proposing? (After all, you question whether we gave your query serious consideration when we misspellyour name in our response, right?) Always double-, triple- and quadruple-check every proper noun—from our names to the names of your subjects and sources—regardless of whether you’re writing a pitch or an assigned piece.

Journalism is all about facts and details, and to sell us on your article in a competitive environment, you’ve got to present yourself as the most competent writer for the gig.

#2 – tomorrow!

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