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Hemispheres Writer’s Guidelines
Hemispheres, the inflight magazine of United Airlines, reaches 12.3 million readers every month.
The magazine is aimed at educated, affluent business and leisure travelers. United’s international route system means that the magazine is read around the world. We are a truly international magazine, not just a U.S. magazine that’s read by other nationalities. We want “insider” articles by residents or writers with expert credentials and a global perspective.
We prefer to receive queries by email. We encourage and value your proposals, but please do not call to check on your submission; instead, send a follow up email a few weeks after sending the pitch if you haven’t gotten a reply. Email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include clips as attached PDF or Word files, or provide links to recent examples of your work. We do not accept editorial queries over the telephone. If a query is accepted, our editors will contact the author, and an assignment will be finalized with a contract. Generally, we do not send writers on assignment but will pay expenses that are agreed upon in advance. We don’t accept completed manuscripts or bylined articles from public relations firms.
The following sections are open to freelancers:
The Hemispheres feature should be a substantial read. We’re not interested in boilerplate travel stories (a faraway resort, whether it’s eco-conscious or not, does not in itself make for a story). Instead, we’re after a great narrative that will immerse our readers. The story should have a strong sense of place or destination, though traveling should not necessarily be its focus. The stories can be profiles of newsmakers, cultural figures, authors, artists, designers, inventors or explorers (Segway inventor Dean Kamen, for instance, who is creating a self-sustaining island residence off Connecticut; or flamboyant former Mets manager Bobby Valentine, who now coaches a championship team in Tokyo).
We’re also after cinematic, adventurous general interest stories that transport the reader to a faraway place that he may never visit himself. For instance, we join a rickshaw race across India; or explore the world of live-action role playing; or go hunting for buried treasure; or tag along with a jungle botanist as he seeks a new medical breakthrough. Most importantly, we’re looking for a good read, something that would fit as comfortably in the well of a quality general interest magazine as it would in that of a travel title.
The Dispatches section is a global version of the New Yorker‘s “Talk of the Town.” Each Dispatch runs at about 300 words, and is a tightly-written, newsy vignette that aims to get beneath the surface of a place. It should be highly evocative, entertaining and colorful. A Dispatch can center around an intriguing event, news story, or person.
A few examples:
-An on-site report from a massive “kiss in” the Mexico City, where 40,000 people kissed simultaneously for 10 seconds.
-A curatorial meeting for the new Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime, led by Mayor (and former mob lawyer) Oscar Goodman.
-A dance party to celebrate the long-awaited legalization of carioca funk–a booming, long banned hip-hop/samba hybrid—in Rio.
-A profile of a grade-school age Korean video game champion on the eve of a major competition.
-A piece in which a writer spends time with a well-known person—actor, chef, athlete, etc.—in a location that means something to them, like a favorite restaurant, a park they loved growing up, and so forth.
FRONT OF THE BOOK
How It’s Done
An illustrated page breaking down how the latest breakthrough innovations work, from bendable TV sets to entire cities built from scratch in Asia.
Food & Drink
Short profiles of up-and-coming chefs; looks at new food and drink trends, focuses on restaurant openings; food- or drink-oriented festivals and other edible or potable phenomena throughout all regions on United’s world map.
Generally, travel news items are written in-house, though we will on occasion farm out a story to a writer who has been to an especially interesting or noteworthy hotel.
The Big Idea
Our monthly business column, dedicated to stories on the latest innovations in the business world, and the most colorful, hardest-hustling, envelope-pushing executives and entrepreneurs working today.
Athlete profiles, golf rants, baseball analysis, football preview, and adventurous first person adventures including everything from sumo school to Indy car racing to championship rattlesnake whispering.