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Gina

Writing about the arts

3 posts in this topic

This is probably one of those dumb questions that everyone here already knows the answer to! :) But I don't know the answer, so I'll ask it: What are some good publications where a freelance writer could send essays about film and literature and so forth? I've looked at some online film journals and things like that, but I'm not finding much, maybe because I don't know the best places to look. 

 

Any help would be much appreciated. I've done some pieces for The Atlantic and The Weekly Standard and other magazines, but things like that usually have to be timely or have some sort of hook. For instance, I just had a chance to write about Bob Fosse for the Standard because I was reviewing a new book about him. But if I want to write a long rambling essay about, say, why the casting of Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo really works for me, there's nothing timely to "hook" that to. The film isn't having a big anniversary or a new special release or anything. I'd like to just be able to explore some of my "hookless" ideas!

 

(Already tried Christ and Pop Culture once or twice, but no dice.)

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I'll be responding from my somewhat parochial perspective as a more or less erstwhile writer about mostly popular music, but here's my two cents: I think hookless ideas like you describe are probably best for specialist blogs or websites. For what you're talking about, something like the very A&F friendly Filmwell comes to mind. It's hard to get a publication that is spending money on you to want to run something that won't be seen as, for lack of a better word, very clickable.

 

On the other hand, if you already have a good relationship with an editor at a publication you've written for before, you might consider pitching anyway -- what have you got to lose?

 

I've thought about this a lot because unlike in the past, when freelance hustling was my part-time/pseudo-put-myself-through-grad-school job, I now only do music writing stuff that I really want to do. It's often a bit esoteric and unsexy. But now that I think of it, that has involved a lot of waiting around until a hook presents itself.

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