Freelance FAQ #4: How to Find the Name of an Editor

If you pitch to publications on a regular basis, you might have run into some roadblocks.

One of the most common issues is being unable to find which editor you should pitch. On the other hand, sometimes you know which department to pitch but can’t find the name of the specific editor to pitch.

Here are a few tips for finding the right editor:

You might be thinking, “But what if I can’t find anything at all?”

If you’ve tried the 3 tips in the video and still can’t find a name, then don’t worry about it. While you should always do your homework, it’s ultimately on the publication to provide submission information. If they don’t list the editor’s name, you can’t be expected to know it.

Now, you should still try––it’s a good practice to know who you’re pitching to, and it can set you apart from other writers. At the same time, there’s only so much you can do.

This raises another question: What greeting do you use if you can’t find a name? There’s not one right answer, but there are some generally accepted greetings you can use:

  • “Dear editor” – This is a good standard greeting if you can’t find the name of an editor.
  • “Hello!” – A bit less formal and more enthusiastic, this mostly neutral greeting is good for most blogs.
  • “Hello _____ editors!” or “Hello _____ team!” – Slightly chummier, these greetings are good for more informal publications with fun styles.
  • “Greetings!” – This is a more generic greeting, but it might suit your writing style more closely.

There is only one big NO: Never use “to whom it may concern” or “dear sir or madam.” These greetings are severely dated, impersonal, and frankly a bit lazy. You need to do everything you can to catch an editor’s attention, and that includes your email greeting. The “to whom it may concern” alternatives above are much better and will work in your favor.

Your Turn: Which of these email greetings is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.

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