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ERIC Number: ED311507
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Pages: 43
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Magazine Article Placement: How Editors, Regular Contributors, and Novice Writers Rate Query Letters.
Jolliffe, Lee
About 350,000 freelance magazine articles were purchased by magazine editors last year from the 22,000 freelancers and 225,000 would-be freelancers in the United States. A study examined the factors editors judge most important in selecting freelance magazine article proposals, using factor analysis and qualitative examination of persuasive elements. Ten sample query letters, written by several professional writers with freelancing experience, were provided to 5 editors, 25 regular contributors, and 100 novice writers (5 editors, 18 regular contributors, and 21 novice writers responded). Letters were rated on writer experience, skill displayed, research, article idea, appropriateness to the market, and overall quality. Results showed that (1) editors' judgments of article proposal quality were chiefly influenced by the article idea being offered (47.4%) and writer's skill (31%); (2) both regular contributors and rejected query writers place article attributes first, market appropriateness second, and skill displayed third; and (3) persuasion factors considered most important by editors were cognitive complexity similar to the editor's publication; concrete, vivid, readable, varied, and logical language use; and human interest. Findings suggest that novices who offer a well-written, human-focused article are as likely to achieve acceptance as long-time professional writers. (An appendix of analysis of the 10 query letters and the letters and 31 references are attached.) (MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A