Editorial Submissions

Freelance Writer Guidelines

About Pitching Virginia Living

For more than 20 years, Virginia Living has celebrated the people, places, culture, and history of Virginia. The highest quality, most widely read magazine in the state, our combination of smart, engaging stories and out-of-this-world photography makes it a must-read for anyone interested in the Commonwealth—residents, visitors, and fans alike.

We publish well-crafted, high-quality articles on a myriad of subjects. And above all, we’re about storytelling. No matter the subject or the length, we publish great stories that compel readers to turn the page.

We work with a variety of freelance and in-house writers, all of whom are the best of the best. They’re consummate professionals who have been published in reputable print or online outlets, and they respect our products and our process. We’re always looking to add new talent and new voices to our pages.

Please read these guidelines completely before submitting pitches or other material, and read about upcoming editorial themes in our 2024 editorial calendar detailed in the grid below.

Approach and subject matter

  • Our editorial focus celebrates Virginia, and we encourage pitches that showcase the state’s history, people, places, food, culture, and nostalgia.
  • In addition, we consider topics that center on lifestyle, travel, health and wellness, recreation, home and garden, waterlife, education, weddings, and retirement living.
  • We expect thoroughly researched, original, literary-quality work from professional writers.
  • While most of our content is produced by seasoned writers, we do consider pitches from those newer to the profession who are serious about building their careers.
  • Please research past stories on our website. We generally do not cover similar topics within a short time period.
  • We appreciate pitches on trends and engaging news items in the spaces and areas we cover.
  • We have five distinct regions and cover the entire state of Virginia: Central, Northern, Eastern, Shenandoah Valley, and Southwest. See the map below.
  • We encourage potential writers to read Virginia Living before pitching a story in order to gain an understanding of our voice and the scope of our coverage.

Our coverage areas:

Region Map

We publish special super sections throughout the year:

Special Super Sectionx per yearIssues
House+Garden3March/April, July/Aug, Nov/Dec
Health+Wellness3Jan/Feb, May/June Sept/Oct, 
Waterlife1July/Aug
Weddings1Jan/Feb
State of Education1March/April
Drink1Sept/Oct
Retirement Living1Nov/Dec

A Good Pitch Sells Your Story

A pitch should be short and include 1-2 paragraphs on your story query that encapsulates your idea. It should include a proposed hed and dek, the type of story, why it should be written, the potential sources, the source of the artwork for the story, the ideal issue/timing, and any trends in the national news that the story is following. Pitches formatted to call out these headings are always well-received.

Give us a little detail about yourself with the pitch as well–why are you the writer to cover what you’re pitching to Virginia Living? Are you a subject matter expert? Are you a seasoned journalist? Are you a published author? And if you’ve never written for us before, please include links to clips that you’ve recently published along with your pitch.  

Length

Our average feature article length is about 1,200 words. Departments run 500 to 800 words.


Lead Times Vary

Since we are primarily a print publication, longer lead times are the best approach. We work anywhere from six to twelve months out, so pitching a winter getaway idea in spring would be timely, but pitching a fall getaway story in the late summer tells us you don’t know how a magazine works. As always, if it’s a terrific story and your pitch is very solid—and you have the chops to complete the assignment—we very well may strike a deal!


Response Times

We received an enormous volume of pitches every week. While we do our best to respond to as many as we can, sometimes we fall short and may not get back to every idea that lands in our inbox. You are free to nudge us, especially if you think you have a winning pitch. We appreciate your patience with our process.


Sending Your Pitch

Please pitch directly to [email protected]

Thanks for thinking of us—and good luck!
 


Other Submissions

Events: We accept event submissions on a rolling basis. E-mail events for print consideration; use the online form to add them to the calendar on our website. We do not automatically add events to the online calendar. 

E-mail: [email protected]

Online calendar:  VirginiaLiving.com/Events/Submit.html

Charitable events (post-event print coverage): [email protected]

Made in Virginia: To nominate a business for Made in Virginia, submit the business name, location, and contact information, and we will add them to our mailing list. Businesses must be owned and operated primarily in Virginia, with specific products available during the publication period (typically November and December).
E-mail: Hope Cartwright, [email protected]

Dining, Drink, and Recipes: We welcome queries related to the many wonderful food options available in Virginia. We do not cover businesses located outside the state. For recipes, a chef must be willing to write the recipes and cook them with a photographer and stylist in the kitchen. 

Bonus Material: We accept submissions and press releases for our bonus projects on a rolling basis. Please add us to your press release list (see below). If you want to be on our list for specific project-related emails, please contact [email protected]

Press releases: [email protected]

June 21, 2024

Group Exhibition: Spiraling

Reynolds Gallery
June 21, 2024

Sweat

Keegan Theatre