Writers Guidelines

 

Bethesda Magazine is a local, bi-monthly publication that covers Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Gaithersburg, Kensington, Silver Spring, Potomac, Rockville and a small section of Upper NW D.C. (primarily 20015 and 20016 ZIP codes).

People often ask us what kind of writers and stories we are looking for. Most importantly, we want all of our writers to be readers of the magazine. Bethesda Magazine is divided into six “chapters”: Good Life (arts, culture, hidden gems), Banter (people, current events), Home, Health, Dine and Etc. (shopping, pets, weddings, travel). We also publish five to six long-form features every issue on a wide range of topics, all with a strong local connection.

The best pitches will suggest where in the magazine a story might fit—do you envision this as a short Q+A in Banter, a photo-driven piece for Good Life, a feature or a pets column? It’s smart to look through our online archives and see if we’ve already written about something before pitching it.

The types of feature articles we publish include:

  • Profiles of local residents such as John Sackett, the head of Shady Grove hospital who suffers from cystic fibrosis, and Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin
  • Service pieces such as five neighborhoods where residents can walk to everything, and a comparison of the new high-end movie theatres in and around Bethesda
  • Investigative or civic journalism pieces such as a look at human trafficking in Montgomery County, and a story about Pepco’s tree-cutting practices in Potomac
  • We also like to take a major news story and, after the dust settles, retell it in a narrative way, such as the Lululemon murder and the first Ebola patient to arrive at NIH.

Subjects of articles include education, real estate, development, local politics, careers, parenting, performing arts, visual arts, dining out, shopping and fashion, architecture and home design, and health and medicine. Please keep in mind that we’re not interested in articles about people, places or businesses just because they are here—there should be an idea behind every story.

When you pitch a story, we’ll want to know why the story is a good fit for us now—what makes it current, unique or interesting. We’ll also want to know what the local connection is and a general idea of the sources you plan to seek out. If you’re never written for us before, include some information about who you are, which publications you’ve written for, including links to a few published articles, and why you are the best person to write this story. 

Because the magazine is bi-monthly, we work months in advance, and often are largely planned out through the year. So if you’re pitching a story for summer, you should probably do so sometime in January or February.

We do publish first-person—both reported first-person long-form pieces and occasionally shorter first-person essays in the front of the magazine. If you are pitching a first-person essay, please include a draft of the full essay, because in that case, execution is everything.

We prefer that pitches be made by email. You can send them to editorial@bethesdamagazine.com.

Thank you for your interest in writing for us.