How To Become a Magazine Editor

Magazine editors have the exciting job of helping with the layout and content of magazines. Unlike book editors, magazine editors are also involved in coming up with magazine content. They sift through many short articles throughout the week, making sure the writing suits the style and theme of the magazine, and is also free from errors. Additionally, magazine editors must also ensure that the magazine sustains a certain ‘feel' that defines the magazine and separates it from its competitors. It's a demanding and time-sensitive job that requires a lot of creative thinking. If you like the sound of this career, then becoming a magazine editor is as easy as following this guide.

Step 1

Get your degree. Before you can become a magazine editor, you need to get your education. A college diploma or university degree in English Literature is recommended. And courses in writing, editing, journalism and art will all benefit you in a magazine editing career. Make sure that your education includes learning the terminology associated with the magazine and editing industry. You should also have great editing skills (good grammar), and recognize the elements of a good story.

Step 2

Have a passion for magazines. Magazine editors have a lot more to contribute to magazines than just their editing skills. They are familiar with magazine layout (front of book, back of book, and so on.) They come up with new story ideas, and they contribute their magazine ‘know-how' during staff meetings so that the magazine will attract readers and keep audiences informed. To be a good magazine editor, you need to have a passion for magazines, read them often and know what's required to make a good magazine.

Step 3

Join trade networks. After school, you should try to join writing trade networks. This will keep you up-to-date on news stories related to the trade of writing and editing. It will also let you know of any jobs available with magazines. And just by being a member, you'll be more likely to meet people who can help you find a career as a magazine editor.

Step 4

Get writing experience. Graduates don't often jump into careers as magazine editors. The career path usually involves some time spent writing on a smaller scale. Before you try your hand as a magazine editor, consider being a journalist or magazine story writer first. Work for your local newspaper or any magazine to get experience in the industry. You might even want to start as a researcher for a magazine and help writers and editors to create and edit their stories.

Step 5

Apply for work. With a good education and a little experience under your belt, your chances of landing a job as a magazine editor are pretty good. Start by applying to jobs listed in magazines, newspapers and on websites. Don't forget to check out trade magazines for job postings. Talk to people you know who might be able to get you an interview with a magazine company. Take an up-to-date résumé with you to the interview, along with a personalized cover letter indicating your interest in magazine editing and the skills you have that make you a great candidate. With a little luck, you'll be successful in your search for a job as a magazine editor.


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