Which Editor Should I Query?:
Many freelancers know to give a nod to the Writer's Market when choosing where and how to send a piece to their targeted publication. But life happens, and jobs change, especially in the publishing world.
Understanding editorial staff titles might give you a leg up on the competition when figuring out where to send your query.
Keep in mind that many of these titles are fluid; the job itself, along with the responsibilities assigned, vary a bit depending on the company.
An Acquistions Editor is in charge of acquiring content. Unless more specific direction is given on the masthead
or the publication's website, this is the editor you want to query. This title is more associated with the book publishing industry, but many larger magazines also have an editor specifically for acquisitions.
This editor is the editor directly in charge of content, and may be one to field queries. Generally ensures a uniform reading experience and adherence to themes or house style in the magazine's articles.
More likely associated with news writing, an Assignment Editor plays the role of doling out writing and investigative assignments and/or taking care of coverage issues. This editor is not likely to view queries in a magazine setting.
This player supports and assists other editors. Responsibilities vary widely and can range from clerical chores all the way up to the same types of jobs as an Associate Editor. May or may not respond to queries.
This is a mid- to upper- level editorial member that supports the Managing Editor or Editor-in-Chief, and takes care of the nuts and bolts of the daily operation of a magazine. This editor is likely to have the responsibility of dealing with pitches.
Contributing Editor/Editor at Large:
This is the title earned by a high ranking/well known writer/contributor who has written for the magazine multiple times. Since this person is not necessarily a staff member, they would be unable to accept your query.
This is an editor in charge of one department, recurring area or recurring column in a magazine, especially larger publications. This editor may be able to respond to pitches aimed at his/her particular department.
The head honcho is most likely to be concerned with the overall product that the magazine presents, and may also be focused on the business dealings of the magazine. Therefore, they are not likely to work with queries. An exception occurs in smaller publications, where the Editor-in-Chief takes on more involvement in the daily workings of the magazine.
This is the employee in charge of the daily operations of the publication. In some magazines, the Managing Editor is likely to accept and deal with queries and pitches.