Good Housekeeping is one of the oldest, most respected women's service magazines in the United States. It was founded in 1885 and reaches millions of readers each month. Good Housekeeping is one of the Seven Sisters, a group of magazines whose readerships are mainly comprised of married women. The magazine is also one of the better-paying magazines for writers, making it a desirable choice for freelancers.
Familiarise yourself with the magazine before you attempt to submit an article. Every magazine has its own tone, voice and personality. You can read two different articles on the same subject in Good Housekeeping and Redbook, and you would discover that the two articles present two completely different perspectives. The Good Housekeeping reader wants a down-to-earth, yet intelligently-written article. The reader is not looking for edgy or cynical or ironic writing; she wants an article that is straightforward and heartfelt without giving into sentimentality.
Carefully read Good Housekeeping's guidelines for contributors to determine which parts of the magazine are open to freelance submissions. Like any magazine, Good Housekeeping lists its writers' guidelines. (You can find the guidelines via the Internet or in a book, such as Writer's Market.) Choose a topic, research it carefully and make your pitch to the magazine. Succinctly describe your article idea, and tell the editor why readers will be interested and why you are the best person for the job. The more current and timely your topic, the more likely it is you will be asked to write the article.
Write a query letter. Make sure you are addressing it to the correct editor for the department or area you are submitting to by reading a current issue of the magazine or researching it online. Editors change jobs frequently, and nothing dooms a query letter faster than sending it to an editor who is no longer there.
Your query should be typed and flawless. Have someone else proofread it to catch any mistakes you may have made. Send clips or copies of other published articles, and a stamped, self-addressed envelope, and be prepared to wait. It usually takes a couple of months or more for editors to get back to you. If you have not heard from them within two months, or the amount of time stated in the guidelines, contact the editorial department to see if they received the query. One follow-up letter or e-mail will suffice.
- Work at your writing. Take classes online or at your local college. Meet with a writers' group. Write every day.
- Do not be discouraged if your article idea is rejected. Virtually all writers experience rejection. Send the query to another magazine, and send another idea to Good Housekeeping.